A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Notes From Week Two; or, Boobs, Blues, Bella, and Blisters

Life with my Smudgie is slowly settling into a routine. A routine notably lacking in sleep but full of snuggles, kisses, explosive diaper changes, breastfeeding, and love.

Lawyer Guy returned to work last Tuesday after his week off. I was fairly terrified, not so much of being able to handle Smudgie on my own as much as worrying my mental and emotional state wouldn't be able to hold up to the hours of alone time sure to come. Fortunately, my mom and mother(s)-in-law either don't work, took off time from work, or were temporarily in the area, and have been visiting me every day LG is at work. Even if they're only here for three or so hours, it still gives me some adult conversation and a pair of arms to hold Smudgie for an hour or two so I can grab a little nap.

Thankfully, I think I'm doing well emotionally as a result of all this help. I had a little breakdown last week after a particularly exhausting night and an argument with LG. But a half-hour of crying, my mom's visit, and a quick solo walk around the block once LG got home helped me feel in control again. I didn't like feeling emotionally unwound like that, but I'm glad I was able to persevere through it and I'm hopeful that I won't have too many more such moments as my hormones re-regulate.

I also feel very lucky that breastfeeding has not been too much of a struggle so far. We learned last Monday that Smudgie had essentially regained his birth weight in only four days of feedings. My supply seems adequate and I treasure those early morning quiet times when I can kiss my baby's soft little head and stroke his hair. He latches on quickly and eats greedily--sometimes even choking himself in his hurry to get that milk down! There's a bit of pain at the beginning, but it's not unbearable and I'm working to get the latch exactly right to cut down on even that amount of pain. Our (non-flaky) doula recommended a local Lactation Consultant as well, and I'll be setting up an appointment with her if I run into any problems in the next few weeks.

Despite enjoying breastfeeding, I'm really looking forward to pumping next week and introducing the bottle in about 9 or 10 days. I can't wait to skip that one feeding each night and let LG take over and maybe get 4 or 5 hours of sleep in a row. Bliss!

We went for our first family walk around the block yesterday-- the whole family, including Bella! We picked up bagels and donuts from a local place, finalized our birth announcements order at the stationery store, and stopped off at the local breast-feeding/baby-wearing store to pick up breast pump parts and nursing tank tops. It was a crisp and lovely fall day, the sun was shining, and I felt so close to Lawyer Guy. I spent so many months walking those uneven sidewalks dreaming of this family that I now have. Amazing.

Bella's doing well with the adjustment, by the way. She spent over a week staying with her grandmas while LG and I tried to get into the baby-watching groove, but came back to the fold on Thursday. She's intensely interested in Smudgie, but as long as she can see him and see what we're doing with him she's content to sniff his feet or head and settle down on the couch or at the end of the bed for a snooze while I feed him. When he's crying and she can't see him--we're standing and he's in our arms or we're changing him or he's in his stroller--she gets worked up and barks. But she's made such strides over the past few days, we're confident that she and Smudgie will be grand friends soon. Already she runs to peep in his crib in the mornings after her walk.

The only real snag we've hit has been a strange case of blistering around Smudgie's diaper area. He gets little white heads that occasionally blossom into puffy, liquid-filled blisters. Our pedi sent us racing to the pediatric surgeon in Manhattan last week when she saw the first one, worrying that it was infected. But it turned out to be fine, which helped keep us calm when more blisters appeared over the following week. We'll be taking him in to a dermatologist tomorrow morning to figure out what exactly is going on, but we're trying not to worry too much since these blisters don't bother Smudgie at all appear to be totally harmless once they've burst.

There are little challenges all the time-- moments when I worry that putting him in a swing or his crib to sleep during the day rather than holding him the whole time is taking the easy way out or when I stress about over- or under-feeding him. But as of now, the good moments far outweigh the trying, and that is a wonderful blessing.


  1. This is such a great post-- it really captures the emotions of those first few weeks! Euphoria, anxiety, being pushed past your limit, intense love and joy...

  2. It sounds like it's all going really well! I've had a couple of meldowns already, mostly related to fear that our son is feeling left out with all the focus on the new baby. But I'd like to think these feelings are normal... Oh and yay for breastfeeding success! My girl can latch but prefers not to, so the lactation consultants at the hospital had me start pumping to keep her from starving. That's been going great, but really working on getting her directly on the boob! Anyway, just so happy for you and your family!

  3. Sloper it sounds like you are doing so well!! The sore boobs, the moments of mental and emotional breakdowns, the sleep deprivation, the second-guessing are all things that sound totally normal (well, normal to me since I went through the same things). Try to take advantage of all the help you can. As you found out, even getting in a short walk by yourself did wonders for you, and made you appreciate Smudgie (and LG) even more when you returned.

    I can't wait to meet the little guy:)

  4. You sound like you are doing great! It's funny how 3-4 hours of straight sleep seems like a luxury post baby. And to think of all those nights that I took it for granted. I hardly left the house for the first eight weeks and that was soooo not good. So, so awesome you are taking walks and getting fresh air. A 3-way play date sounds great to me! So just holler whenever you are ready and it's a date. xoxo.

  5. Sounds like you're all doing beautifully! So delighted for you. Enjoy every moment! xoxo

  6. You are adjusting to motherhood swimmingly! So glad you have support to help you out.

  7. Sounds like things are going great! :) I love the picture of the family going for a walk together. That's my fondest wish!!

  8. You sound like a real mom with real concerns, the same concerns i'm sure most moms have had. Over/under feeding, put in his swing, not put in his swing, this that and everything else will come into question and debate until finally you realize that all that matter is that he's safe and loved, the rest begins to come easily and naturally.

    So glad things are going great. Hope you figure out the blister situation but again that too will be resolved soon I'm sure.

  9. We are at about 9 weeks, let me just say it gets way easier. i found week 1 & 2 so hard! sounds like your doing a great job!

  10. Oh my gosh, you are doing just awesome. There's so much exhaustion, and adrenaline, and it's all an emotional, overwhelming, beautiful thing. I am so happy reading these updates from you, Slopie. xoxo

  11. you are dong great, Mama! I miss those sweet, tiny baby nursing sessions, I know you're loving every minute, but soak them in, because man do these babies change quickly. I suddenly have a 5 month old (!) that enjoys grabbing at everything while feeding, such a change. Anyways..

    So glad you have help in these early days and I wish that we lived closer so I could bring over a homecooked meal for you and LG.

    On the blister situation, have you tried different kinds of diapers? Maybe Smudgie is allergic to something in the kind of diapers you're using? I'm sure the derm has much better suggestions than I do, and glad that they seem to not be causing any real problem.

    For me, that initial pain of nursing finally went away around 4 weeks pp when my nipples toughened up. There may be no issue with the latch, it just takes some time for the skin to get used to it. I used lanolin like it was my job in those early days before and after each feed.

    So happy for you, Mama Sloper!

  12. It sounds like you're doing well hon. I think it's great your mom and MILs are able to help so you can get some rest. It's so important for you. I hope Smudgie's blisters clear up. Lots of love to your beautiful family.

  13. I'm glad that you've hit a good groove, Sloper. And really glad to hear that Bella is dealing so well. It sounds like you,re doing everything wonderfully right.