The start of mothering and healing

Where has the time gone? I’ve been trying to write a post for a while now, but getting two hands on my laptop at once is difficult these days. I’m writing this post at 5:30 am on my cell phone in the bath tub. Mike made me go to bed early last night. I’ve already had 6 hours of (interrupted) sleep even though I’ve been up for an hour and a half. My body and mind are wide awake. It’s funny how you adjust.

Wyatt is already over 5 weeks old. The longest stretch he’s gone between feedings at night is 6.5 hours; although, we average about 3. He’s a nighthawk like his Momma. He prefers to go to bed later at like 11pm and sleep in until 9 am (with feedings in between). We’re trying to get him to bed earlier though.

He’s been on a nap strike for the past few days. He clings to me and doesn’t want to be put down. For two days, he didn’t have a decent nap (translation: more than 10 minutes) until 3pm. Yesterday, I’ve found success by putting him in my new Ergobaby carrier. I picked it up last night. Another couple purchased it by didn’t use it. It still even had the tags on. I tried a Boba stretchy wrap, but little man hates being confined and needs his arms out. He’s not a swaddler at all. I also tried a Beco (original model). I bought it used for an extremely good deal, but the shoulder straps kept falling off after multiple adjustments. It just wasn’t the right fit for me. I hope the Ergo is the one.

Wyatt is still a milk monster. He loves to eat and I’m grateful that my supply is good. My left nipple is still bothering me. I’ve been experiencing vasopasms from poor latch. Changing positions has helped (football works best). I was exhausted the other night and let him eat in the side lying position in bed. He went to town on it after I fell asleep and it’s sore again. I might stop in at a local lactation clinic this week and see if they have any additional advice.

As for me, my lady bits are STILL healing. The stitches are almost gone, but I’ve still got a few. I’ve notice the most progress this week, but it still gets sore and itchy. I had a reaction earlier this week where I sprayed perenium spray too soon after using Anusol. My entire ass crack was red and burning. I decided to avoid the use of any product for a week and the healing has sped up. My reccomendation for others who experience a similar episiotomy and tear is to keep it clean and dry. Bath a few times a day. Use a perenium spray early on if it’s too dry and the stitches are pulling, but your healing will speed up if you let nature take its course.

As for the past few weeks, I’m adjusting well to motherhood. The biggest challenge has been accepting a slower pace of life (and the fact that my once spotless house is now a clutter zone). Wyatt determines the schedule and sometimes Momma won’t be able to get done what she hoped to that day. Overall, my son is such a content little baby. He only fusses if he’s hungry, wet or needs a burp – and I’m very grateful for this!

Wyatt was a bit gassy this week. I’m going to eliminate a few foods this next week and see if a can determine which caused it (Dairy? Tomatoes? Chocolate?). I haven’t been good at following my own food aversions lately. Fixing the diet should fix the tummy for both of us.

One funny thing about Wyatt is he hates being in a wet diaper and it’s even worse if it’s a disposable. I finally got him into cloth diapers for 2 days last week. He didn’t fuss as much if his cloth diaper was wet.

As for the cloth, I’m finding the most luck with my Prefolds or Hybrid styles. I have some Bummis Prefolds, but my husband hates folding and how bulky they are. They are fine for when I’m home alone with the little man. The huge lot of used diapers I bought contained both Flip Hybrids and BumGenius Pockets in both snaps and aplex (velcro). All the reviews you read online say that BumGenius fit awesome and velcro can give you a tighter fit than snaps. Well, that’s not the case for me. The Velcro BumGenius are too big in the legs for Wyatt. I even tried a brand new diaper to see if maybe the replaced elastic was still too stretched. I am finding luck with my Flip covers and liners, and some of the BumGenius pockets with snaps. I’m going to hang onto the Velcro pockets and see if he grows into them, but if not, I’ll just resell them. I scoured the Black Friday sales and managed to find a great deal on 2 more Flip covers and 2 more sets of liners. Since those fit the best, we will go with it for now. I actually think I’m going to use cloth wipes at home too. I’m picking up a purchased but never actually used wipes warmer later this week. yes, I’m a sucker for watching the online used baby ads. Seriously, you can save a fortune by buying gently used items!

My mom and my sister came for a visit when Wyatt was 3 weeks old. I don’t want to get into how horribly wrong it went, but I’ll just say that I have some work to do on healing my relationship with my Mother. And I think I’ve finally come to a place of completely letting go of my very broken relationship with my sister. It’s all for the best.

Oh and… my fertile brother and his wife are expecting Baby #2. This wasn’t a surprise to us, but it did stir up my fear and anxieties around what it may take for us to have a second child.

I’ve decided to work with a intituive midwife from New Zealand who helps women heal from birth trauma. I stumbled upon her online and was drawn to her program as it appeared to have similarities to the fertility coaching I had done. I didn’t realize Wyatt’s birth had affected me negatively until I started feeling uneasy about my perineum healing. I kept replaying this image of my baby being ripped from my vagina over and over again in my head. I feel disconnected from my sexuality and sensuality, but I know that can take some time for a new Mom to regain it. I’m feeling encouraged to put myself out there again, dig deep into the issues and sort out how I’m feeling. There’s also deep connections between a woman’s birth experience and her own relationship with her Mother. I think it’s perfect timing for me to explore that.

I was concerned about cost of the program and being on maternity leave, but the universe has unveiled some positive signs that we can make it work. My husband had a better year on the farm than he expected and offered me some funds. And the cost of the healing program just went on promotion! Besides, I’m a firm believer than self healing and growth is always a good investment. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes once the program starts.

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When to pump?

Currently, I am exclusively breastfeeding Wyatt.

I like breastfeeding. I like the closeness and the cuddles. I don’t feel strapped down (but I know that might change). I plan on being off work for about another 8 months, so I have no real need to develop a stash.

I bought a breastpump before he was born. During the first day or two of my milk coming in, I pumped 3 bags with approximately 2 oz each. They are frozen.

I don’t have any issues with engorgement. The little man seems to be getting exactly what he needs.

I’m not sure if and when I should start regularly pumping?

Is it better to build a small stash for those ”just in case” moments?

What time of the day is best to pump? I’ve read morning,  but I’m always alone with him in the mornings. Can you pump when it works best for you?

Lately, I’ve been getting between a 3-5 hour stretch at night where he’s sleeping. Is that when I should pump?

Any advice, opinions or insight is much appreciated!

How did pumping breast milk work for you?

Tender, loving moments

I’ve found myself occasionally frustrated with my husband since our son arrived into our life.

I saw the hours that we were all home together as an opportunity to get things done and get caught up on housework.  With four hands, surely one us could tend to the baby while the other actually did something productive!

Over the past few days,  my mindset has changed. I’ve started to embrace the slower pace of life that comes with having a newborn. It’s not that the day isn’t filled with activity (feed, burp, change), it’s just that our little guy is the focus. He dictates the schedule.

I’ve also grown to love the snuggles,  the extra suckles and the moments of closeness we share when we aren’t in a hurry to get somewhere or get something done. I’d rather cuddle my baby than rush to get him asleep and put him down.

Those dishes can wait. No one will see that pile of laundry. It will get done. It just doesn’t have to be now.

I’m writing this post from the bath where I’m soaking my still healing perineum. Before I got in the tub,  I peaked in on my husband. He and Wyatt were laying in bed. Wyatt was milk drunk after another feeding, and Mike was lovingly gazing at him.

We don’t need to rush today. We can take it slow. Babies only stay little for so long.

And I’d like all both to experience as many of these moments as possible. ❤

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2 weeks postpartum

Wyatt is 2 weeks and 2 days old. Seriously, how have 2 weeks gone by already?

Initially, I thought he looked a lot like me. Since I got a copy of his Dad’s baby photo, I’m beginning to think he looks a lot more like him. What do you think?

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Mom (top left), Dad (bottom left), Wyatt (right)

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is still going well. My little milk monster loves to eat. His large size at birth means that he’s not really eating like a newborn would. During the day,  we go 2-3 hours between feeds. At night,  I’m very happy to say it’s been 3-4 hours. We’ve had two full days of cluster feeding and he also has been cluster feeding the past few evenings. He also loves to use the nipple to soothe himself or put himself to sleep. We caved and gave him a soother to allow my breasts to have a break.

My nipples are in decent shape. My left boob is a bit sore, but I haven’t figured out what it may be yet (no signs of mastitis or a clogged duct). Potential for thrush, but my doctor didn’t think it was that today. I tend to have sharp pains during and after feedings, but it more commonly happens in the evenings. It also is sore if I push on the left side of it. I can’t feel any hard bits and it’s not red or hot. It didn’t seem as sore today, so I’ll see how it goes.

Right boob is fine though.

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Passed out milk drunk – look at those hands!

Sleeping

Wyatt is still co-sleeping with us and Oliver the cat. The dogs have been moved to their room in the basement for sleeping. I’d like to gradually re-introduce them to the bedroom, but for now, it’s easier if they are separate. Oliver loves his baby but keeps a safe distance. They have this mutual respect thing going on.

I absolutely love co-sleeping. There’s nothing quite like waking up and seeing your baby right there beside you.

As for my energy level, I crashed this past weekend. On Friday, the lack of sleep finally hit me. Wyatt and I had a 2 hour afternoon nap in the recliner by the fireplace. On Saturday, I had 2 naps while Daddy was home. I find I’m stubborn and I tend to try to get things done while baby sleeps rather than sleeping myself. That being said, I also feel like I don’t have much of a need to nap since I am lucky enough to get 6+ hours of broken up sleep a night.

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Cuddled up on Daddy

Visiting

We’ve had a few friends pop by to visit. I really appreciate it when people come for a shorter time period (1-2 hours). Another friend brought us another batch of lactation cookies and supper yesterday. That – by far – is the best kinda of visit. 🙂

My mom, my sister and my nephew are flying into town this weekend. My Mom will be here for 6 days. My sister is just here for the weekend. I hope it goes well. I’m looking forward to having the extra hands. It made such a difference when Mike was home this weekend.

Healing

I’m feeling better. My stitches are still there, but less sore. I definitely do have hemorrhoids and they are super close to my stitches where I tore. I spoke with my GP today and she said I could use hemmorhoid cream. I also bought those Tucks pads. Prior to this, I’ve just been using my perineum spray and padsicles. I also notice a HUGE difference if I don’t bath at least 2-3x a day and use my perineum spray for every trip to the washroom. Also, I can’t sit on my ass for long periods of time or else it will be super sore as the day goes on. It’s definitely hard to feed a newborn laying down all the time. I try to recline and take as much weight as possible off my perineum/rear end.

Baby’s progress

Wyatt is growing and growing. He had his 2 week doctor check-up today. I think (because they didn’t tell me directly) that he grew 1 inch since his birth and he’s gained about 1 lb over the past a week and a half. She said he’s in the 100th percentile for height and 75th for weight. She also laughed at how he gobbles up his milk, then comes up for air. I feel for the poor kid with Momma’s gianormous ta-tas to deal with! I try to free his little nose when I can. My doctor is a very big promoter of breastfeeding. They didn’t book anyone in the room for 45 minutes after me so that I could feed and change him if I needed to (which I did). I thought that was really supportive of them.

His blocked tear duct cleared up with breastmilk and following a chiropractor adjustment. We saw the chiro on Friday. He was slightly out of alignment in his neck and one spot on his back. Baby’s don’t get cracked at his age. It’s basically like a massage for them.

The public health nurse called today and offered to come out one more time. I may take her up on her offer just to get a definite on his weight and get her opinion on my left boob. I’m confident he’s getting enough to eat as he has PLENTY of wet/dirty diapers. Mike was shocked how many we went through on Saturday when I assigned him on diaper duty for the morning.

Overall, life is good. I love my little man and we are settling in nicely. ❤

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Naptime on the recliner with Momma

1 week postpartum

It’s hard to believe our little man is 1 week old today. Time really flies by when you have a baby. Days and nights blur together. Most days it feels like we aren’t even ready for the day until almost noon.

Wyatt is such a calm and happy baby. The only time he cries is if he’s hungry, dirty, or gassy. Either way, it’s always an easy fix. We are very lucky.

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Wyatt – 1 week old

Breastfeeding

We’ve been exclusively breastfeeding. I pumped once, but I’m going to try to avoid it for as long as I can.

Wyatt is a milk monster. That’s the nickname that his Dad gave him. He loves to eat! I met with the lactation consultant when we were in the hospital and she commented that she rarely sees a newborn who eats as well as he does. He gained 5 ounces in 48 hours which the public health nurse said was over double what would be expected. Like I said: he’s a milk monster.

Getting a good latch has been a bit challenging, but we are learning and getting more comfortable with breastfeeding each day. My boobs are slightly sore and chapped, but it’s tolerable. When my milk came in, the flow was overwhelming for the little guy. He seems to be adjusting to it now. Since I have gigantic boobs, the football hold worked best for us to start. Since then, we’ve moved onto the cradle, cross-cradle and laying down.

Sleeping 

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This is what I found after my morning bath. Snuggle buddies.

We had planned on having Wyatt join us in our bedroom in the Halo Bassinest. It only took 1 night before his Dad put him in bed with us. We usually start with him in the bassinet and move him to the bed with us if he fusses in the middle of the night. We’ve been very lucky to have a few good nights where he’s gone 2-3.5 hours between feedings.

During the day, he does great with napping. We either let him sleep on us or in another bassinet in the living room.

As for me, I had my placenta encapsulated which helps with energy levels. I am only taking 1 dose/day which gives me a decent amount of energy. I get tired after supper time, but I don’t actually nap at all yet during the day. I’m sure that will change once Mike goes back to work and I’m up more on my own with the baby during the night.

Visiting

I felt overwhelmed the first few days after we left the hospital. I was sleep deprived and adjusting to motherhood. We ended up having a few too many extended visits including a few unannounced visitors (how do people think this is appropriate?). That meant sitting up for long periods of time which made my lady bits very sore. 4 days after he was born, I asked my husband to kibosh the family visits for a few days. I just wanted to spend time relaxing and healing with my son and my husband. So far, people have respected our wishes. We haven’t seen many friends yet. Everyone keeps stressing the importance of putting myself and the baby first. That’s my focus. I know everyone will get to meet Wyatt when the time is right.

Mike goes back to work on Monday. I’m nervous about being on my own mainly due to how sore I am. I may reach out to some friends/family for more help next week… or I may just lay in bed all day and snuggle with my babe. 🙂 

My Mom is flying out on November 12. I’m really looking forward to having her here.

Healing

Following Wyatt’s delivery, my ankles/legs/perineum/bum were seriously swollen. I had 2 acupuncture sessions this week which significantly reduced my swelling. When I say significantly, I mean it was like a miracle. Within 12 hours, you could see the bones in my feet again! After I did what everyone tells you not to do, I’ve been following a regular routine of epsom salt baths, perineum spray, padsicles, and lots of laying down. The reduction in swelling has helped, but my stitches are still sore. Each day, it gets a bit better.

Pregnancy was good to me. I gained a total of 22 lbs. I’ve lost all of it, plus some. At 1 week postpartum, I’m currently 5 lbs less than what I weighed going into our FET cycle last January.

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I guess it did look like I was carrying a 9lb baby.

Wyatt also had a blocked tear duct which freaked me out. The one lesson I have for all the Momma’s out there is to trust your intuition. Doctor Google said it was simply a blocked tear duct, but I let it freak me out. After confirming with the nurse, the solution was breastmilk. Problem solved.

Family life

We’ve neglected our animals this week. We did let them sleep with us the first few nights, but I was too sore and got frustrated with them. For now, we are keeping our sleeping arrangements separate and will work on spending time together during the day. So far, Max the chihuahua loves the baby, Bella the chihuahua likes the baby but wants more attention, and Oliver the cat could care less; although, he does meow when the baby cries. Last night, Max was a bit too hyper and jumped on the baby. We have some work to do on boundaries. I may have less patience with them until my bottom is healed. It’s hard to take care of myself when I’m so sore, let alone a newborn and 3 animals.

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Meeting the puppies for the first time

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Oliver the cat is not sure about this arrangement.

Overall, it’s been going well. Mike is an amazing daddy and it’s so obvious how much he loves our son.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN! We had a little skeleton today.

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