Friday, March 20, 2009

the first couple of weeks

I need to try to catch up to present day, but I feel like I have some holes to fill here! So.....I will talk about the first couple of weeks. They were pretty hard, and starting to become blurry. This must be one of the benefits of having a child...making you forget the difficult parts so you want to have more!

I was so bloated and my feet were giant when I got home. I also had stretch marks! None of those things happened while I was pregnant. The bloating and swelling was from the fluids they pumped into me, and I went down fast. After just a few days I had lost much of the water and thankfully the water weight! The c-section didn't make life very easy. I had a hard time getting up and my husband had to get everything for me. It was slow going for me. Thankfully my parents came to visit and they were a great help. Every day I felt a little bit better and became a little more mobile though. I tried to get outside for walks, but the weather didn't cooperate much and we had most of our coldest days right when I got home and needed to be outside!

I definitely didn't realize how time consuming a lot of things would be. Someone told me "newborns sleep a lot" and they failed to also use the phrase "some newborns"...MY newborn never sleeps! Well, he sleeps now, but initially he didn't sleep at all. Not even in the hospital after he was born. He was too worried about getting food to be concerned with sleep. Once we got home, he barely slept...I mean a few hours here and there, and gradually it got better, but anytime we got him to be asleep after a feeding, he would wake up as soon as we transferred him to his bassinet. I *think* he slept better at night, and for the first 2 weeks we were home so did I. Since we were supplementing with formula, my husband could get up and do one of the feedings and I could stay asleep - luxury!

Although that was nice, I had a LOT of anxiety about formula. I am a big breastfeeding advocate, and it broke my heart to have to give him least we used the organic stuff. The supplementing started in the hospital because he got a fever due to dehydration, so we had to keep doing it for a while, and then wean him off. That stuff is like baby crack. After he had the formula he would sleep SO deeply. I guess because it's higher in fat than breastmilk, so it takes less time to go through him, whereas especially in the early days of milk, I was producing skim and it went through him FAST. Anyway - I was very worried about how we would wean him off, and we started to just give him less and less, but then one day we just gave him none. It had been long enough that my milk was satisfying him more and he didn't seem to miss it or really notice.

Angus liked to eat ALL the time...I literally mean 18-20 out of the 24 hours in a day this kid would be on the boob as I like to say. It was VERY draining and I think I assumed he would eat, we would put him down and then he would sleep for a few hours. No dice. He would eat, sleep for a short time, wake up, eat, poop, etc. And in the middle of this he would be swaddled and unswaddled numerous times. Inevitably, once he was perfectly swaddled, he would take a giant poop and we would have to do that again. It was tricky...but it got and continues to get much better.

I got a good breastfeeding book, and it said that after about 40 days, things improve and you and your child figure each other out. That timeline was spot on. I've got many of his habits figured out and those first few weeks were nutty and sleep deprived and stressful....on top of my hormones working themselves out - many tears were shed - tears of joy and tears of stress. I haven't cried in a couple of weeks now though and it's been 7 weeks!

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