Monday, October 1, 2012

Holy Ginormous Boobs Batman!

Life with a newborn has been fast yet slow, peaceful yet full of emotions, relaxing but busy.  Some days its at least noon before I'm even thinking of getting out of my pajamas.  Some days I cry a good 3 or 4 times.  Some days I get a magazine read and other days I feel like I have sat in the rocking chair or the couch and done nothing else productive. 

My mom has been life-saving a big help.  She has taken care of me, made me meals, done our laundry, changed diapers, taken Sawyer after a morning feeding so I can get more sleep, hounded me to take more naps (I haven't listened well to that one), gotten groceries, taken Charlie for walks.  This woman is amazing.  And I'm very greatful for her help.

My mother in law has also been quite helpful.  As many of you know, she is a lactation specialist and has lots of great tips to offer in that department.

Breastfeeding has been an adventure.  It has definitely been way more difficult than I imagined it being. I don't know why I thought it would be so simple because it certainly hasn't.  Maybe I just feel pressure to do it well since I'm the daughter in law of a lactation specialist. The nurses in the hospital helped and the lactation specialists stopped by but every time they came we had just finished eating or he was too sleepy to eat.  Because of my c-section, they recommended a football hold so Sawyer didn't have to lay across my stomach.  The night nurse also gave me a nipple shield since she thought my nipples were too flat for the baby to latch on to (who knew?).  The post partum nurse gave me some tips at our 2 day check up.  I still felt like it was more difficult than it should be.

Then my milk came in and my boobs were freaking huge!  I could have easily found employment at a Hooters restaurant.  While they've now gone down a bit, they are still a bit larger than I'm used to.  There is no shortage of breast milk in this household.  I could likely feed a small tribe in Africa if needed.

However, when you aren't used to a tiny human attached to your breast all the time, your body reacts.  My nipples were bleeding and had blisters even using the nipple shield.  It was painful to feed him and at one point last week I called Judi in tears because I couldn't take it anymore.  My nipples were on fire.  She made several recommendations and Andrew made a late night Target run to get me some supplies (and some Oreos to make me feel better).  I took a 24 hour break from nursing and pumped.  And I have to say as much as hurt to feed Sawyer, I missed it when Andrew fed him with the bottle.  I cried.  I know that Andrew loved getting to feed him but I missed the bonding and especially when Sawyer falls asleep on my chest after he eats.  Its such a peaceful and relaxing time.

Judi had an intern working with her earlier this year (Lindsay) for about 12 weeks.  Lindsay actually lives in Bellevue (east side suburb of Seattle, not far from Redmond) and was able to come over for a personal lactation consultation.  What are the odds that someone living in Bellevue ends up doing an internship for lactation at the hospital across the country in Virginia where my mother in law is in charge of the lactation staff?  I'm pretty sure that God was at work there.  Lindsay gave me some tips, said Sawyer was latching just fine and that it would just take some time for both of us to learn this whole system of breast feeding.

Fast forward a week.

My nipples are much better.  Sawyer still has some difficulty latching without the shield but we have had a few sessions of feeding without it.  It seems to be a two steps forward, one step backwards kind of process.  In the middle of the night, I'm too tired to even try to deal with it so I just use the shield.

I never thought that I would say (or type) the word "nipple" so often as I have in the last week.

Bottom line is that I love my son.  He is amazing and perfect and I know that breastmilk is best.  I love the bonding time with him.  No, I don't plan to breast feed until he goes to kindergarden (though I may have a supply of frozen breastmilk to get us there) but until he hits the time to wean (aiming for 12 months) I want to enjoy our time now.

Speaking of my son, he has only gotten cuter!  He is definitely growing and now getting a little bit of a belly and double chin.  Still in newborn clothes but filling them out better.  He only has about 4 or 5 outfits that currently fit - I'm excited for him to fit into 3 month clothes so I can expand his wardrobe. I've lucked out with a pretty easy baby so far.  He cries when he's hungry or naked - but hey, who doesn't right?  He sleeps a lot but is starting to have more periods of awake time - even then he's very content just looking around.

Pictures you ask?  Of course....

Tummy time

Meeting his cousins for the first time - Keaton (left) and Reid (right) 5 years old

Lyla (2 years old) got a turn as well

When I rest on the couch, I like to have him next to me

He loves to sleep with his hands next to his face

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