This post is for my sweet P. For a few nights now, I've been witnessing W laugh in his sleep after the night feedings. Of course, P isn't there to see it and he's been dying to get a glimpse. Well, I got it on video finally!!! Sorry for the shotty lighting. Oh and that's a breastfeeding blister on his lip, not a tooth. :)
(He's not awake...even though his eyes are open)
Isn't that the best?! I hope one day soon, he chuckles for us while he's awake. But for now, I'll take any sign of him being happy....even if he's unconscious!
So, I finally lost it the other night. It wasn't due to breastfeeding issues or anything like that. I was just frustrated with not knowing if W's fussiness was normal. Everything you read about babies insinuates that the baby is perfect. For example, they say you should pump immediately after you feed the baby. Okay. But it takes about an hour to soothe W to sleep. If I pump then, I will only have an hour if I'm lucky before the next feeding!!!! Makes me feel like W is abnormal or something. They don'twrite scenarios about if your baby is fussy or if you are alone and have to put the baby to bed yourself. And I mean, I could let the baby cry it out as I pump, but then you read how cruel it is and what a bad mother you are for letting let newborn cry! I mean, what gives?!?! What's wrong with the baby????!!!!
NOTHING. Absolutely nothing is wrong with W. He's perfect in that he is not perfect. No baby is. Took me a little while to wake up and realize this. I will put a little blame on a CERTAIN SOMEONE for talking only about perfect babies and how well-behaved they are. After hearing that for months, I think it got ingrained somehow that if your baby isn't robotically perfect, then he or she is a freak. So, thanks friend, who's name I won't mention! The rest I blame on all these so-called experts who write as if you can stick any baby into their formulas and get the desired results. Piss off, I say!! (I would be more vulgar but I think my in-laws read this blog)
What really helped was reading all these different forums about baby issues. A support group, if you will. It was P's idea and I'm so glad he made me do it. It was really great to hear I wasn't alone. Although I will say that I felt the most relief after talking to C about it and having heard that our baby is just like all other newborns. Forums are great, but that's just coming from individual opinions. C is like a consensus of all moms!
All in all, W is doing great so far.
He's a month old already!! He still has thrush but it doesn't seem to be affecting him in any way, so phew! for that. He's eating well, growing on track and slowing starting to acclimate to this new world he's now a part of. As much as I love how tiny and insanely cute he is as a newborn, I cannot wait until he is able to hold his head up by himself and start communicating with us (other than crying). A stable and predictable sleep schedule would be nice, too. Thanks.
We tried giving W his first tub bath.
It's supposed to be soothing and you know, W didn't hate it. What I did hate was how small our bathroom is and how cold it is in the rest of the house. Oh and I got my first "golden shower!" I guess all that warm water really made W spray happy. I feel like I got baptized into motherhood! But I think we'll stick to sponge baths for a little while longer.
I'm sad to say that P's paternity leave is officially over. I'm actually really scared to be alone with the baby. P is just so great with him and so patient. He even finds W's crying adorable, so he doesn't freak out and panic the way I do when I can't calm the baby down. I think W can sense this, too. He's much more responsive to his daddy than he is with me. I'm just the resident cow and usually get the frustrated and rooting W. That's okay, I guess. Soon, he'll be stuck with me and only me all day long. We're bound to become pals, right?
If I don't post for a very long time, just know that I've gone and joined the circus. Walking a tightrope has got to be easier than this!
I guess I'm not the only cry baby in this family anymore. It could be worse though, I will admit that. He could have colic. He could be fussy....I mean, fussier. But it turns out, W is one of those babies that has to cry in order to sleep. We thought something was wrong and we weren't able to figure it out. We did the five S's. We even took him on a drive at night. But every time we put him down to sleep, he'd cry. Then P did the smart thing and opened up one of our baby books. He read that some babies need to cry before they sleep. Really?! Apparently, sometimes a baby will cry for a few minutes and then pass out. Sounds like drunken Friday night or something. The best news is...the crying time should get shorter and shorter. We're supposed to let him cry and teach him to self-soothe. Genius! I didn't really believe this was what was going on at first. It's a little too good to be true. Babies cry and they don't just stop by themselves. Do they? You always here that you should just let the baby cry. Even our personal pediatrician, C, said to let him cry it out. It sounds so cruel! But to know that it's just part of a routine babies have....man! That makes me feel a whole lot better! P said just give it time. So, we started timing his crying. And sure enough, after a few minutes....silence. He'd wake up occasionally and cry again, but not for long.
What a relief! Granted those few minutes feel like forever. And forget about letting him cry himself to sleep in public. I'm sure we'd get the stink eye from folks for ignoring our crying newborn. So, for now, we'll just have to wait until W can lull himself to sleep without causing such a spectacle. Wonder how long that will be....
We've got thrush. It sounds like something exciting if you don't know what it is. But it's really quite awful. A fungus in W's mouth. And I can't tell if it spread to me but I'm taking my precautions as well. I was pumping for a couple of days to prevent any further pain and contamination...and I learned that pumping exclusively will not be easier than breastfeeding directly. If anything, it's more work. You still have to "feed" every few hours, only to a machine. And then you have to feed the baby with the bottle itself. So it's like double the work!! And when you have an eater like W, time is of the essence or you're in for a wailfest. By the time you're done pumping and feeding the baby, and then put him down for his nap, it's time to start all over again! You know how time flies when you're having fun? Well, apparently, it flies when you're having a crap time, too. It's taken me nearly a 2 week to write this post because I only have a few minutes at a time to do so. The little free time I do have conflicts me. Should I take pictures, do laundry, take a shower....sleep?
He's already changing. It's happening so fast, I'm certain if I record him 24/7 and fast forward the playback, I can actually see him growing! When W was first born, everyone thought he looked like me. I'd like to add that he was super swollen and puffy. Thanks, guys. Now that the swelling has gone down and he is able to open his eyes, you can totally tell that he looks just like P. We even found a baby picture of P that looks similar to W. It's crazy....this circle of life we spin around in. Everyday, W looks a little different. It makes me kind of sad. Why do they have to grow so quickly?!
I'm still trying to get my head wrapped around this whole breastfeeding thing. The feeding itself is fine for the most part. It's the when? how long? and how much? that is driving me straight to Looneyville. Not to mention...it hurts!! The initial latchon has me seeing spots at times. Boy, can he suck! I'm getting used to it, thank God. But it still has me cringing before each feeding. It was especially brutal because W was jaundiced and the doctor said I had to feed him every 2 hours. Ouch!! You know those clips of dogs hanging on to the mailman's ass with the jaws of life. That's how I feel. I'm the mailman and W is the Jack Russell that won't let go. Ow. Ow. Ow. We sit with him in sunlight everyday to help flush the bile out of his system faster. It got a little stressful when the jaundiced reached his feet. After a tummy-knotted visit to the lab, we were given good news. His levels were good and he just needs to continue eating and sunbathing until he's all pink again. I also failed to realize that breastfeeding a baby meant you were literally chained to the baby for as long as your nursing him. I mean, it's not like bottle feeding where anyone can feed him. Unless I can detach my boobs and stick 'em on P, I'm it. And I will be for quite some time. Everything I do now revolves around the baby's feeding schedule.
As far as losing all that baby weight...I lost a little from breastfeeding. It turns out, I didn't really gain that much weight after regaining what I lost in the first trimester. And with W being a big baby, most of what I gained ended up being him. So, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within days of giving birth. Then with all the breastfeeding, I lost a few more pounds. But the weight loss came to a screeching halt soon after. I think all the chocolate I've been eating has something to do with it... and it was totally worth it!!
For the most part, W is easy. He eats every couple of hours..and then sleeps. But the night feeding is the most brutal. The guy just doesn't stop eating! And then...when he's finished...he doesn't sleep!!! He's gluttonous and has insomnia. Hmmmm..who does that sound like? Kekekeke. Swaddling was tough at first because just like in the womb, W is a kicker. Very active and very opposed to confinement. But P came up with this ingenious swaddling technique! I don't know what we'd do if he didn't come up with it. You need to use a super big swaddling blanket, like the ones by Aden + Anais. You also need the velcro flap of a Halo swaddle blanket. The two combined is swaddling bliss. It's the perfect straight jacket!
I had some uncomfortable swelling for the first week. It's so cruel that you're finally free of the debilitating belly, only to have legs and feet so swollen you can't even walk. I did the whole Korean miyuk soup thing and I drank lots of fluids and avoided carbs. Well, not all carbs. I have been eating a ton of chocolate. As soon as W came out, I was in full chocolate reload mode. I felt like the Terminator, with that radar vision, seeking out chocolate like it was the enemy. And I had to destroy it with my mouth! Even 2 weeks later, Ieat fistfuls of peanut M&Ms throughout the day. And with Halloween just around the corner, it's hard not to buy bags and bags of the stuff at Target. I finally had a hamburger for the first time since last December. In n Out, you were missed. I've eaten pizza, pasta, tomatoes, fries, Snickers, brownies, chocolate ice cream. These are all things I avoided throughout my pregnancy. I've still got a long list of foods I need to revisit, like lasagna, salsa, coffee, kimchi...other forms of chocolate :D
For now, I'm enjoying motherhood. Yes, my boobies hurt and I'm getting very little sleep. But my complaints are minute compared to what I feel when I see my little baby's face. He makes so many funny faces and has so many endearing quirks already, I fear I am becoming the "doting" mother I always make fun of. I could just sit there and stare at him all day long if I didn't fear hemorrhoids so much. And as much as I want to freeze time and keep him in this adorable newborn state, I can't wait for the day when he can baby talk with us and call me "mama."
Here's a photo of W making one of his funny faces. It's not in focus but it's the only one I've got.
Is he jealous of W? Unfortunately, very much so...yes. Poor little guy thinks he's being replaced. Replaced?!!! We would never...not in a million years...not for a million dollars! I wish so much that he would understand that this baby is more love for him. Soon there will be another set of hands petting him, another person to give him treats, another person to cuddle with. But I don't speak Doglish and he doesn't speak English....so there you have it. He peed once in the living room, as far as we can tell. And he acts crazy when we give W kisses. We let him sniff W all the time but he just sniffs and walks away. We still love him like crazy...and he's still super cute to us. The other day, I took this photo of him that, I'm ashamed to admit, made me melt more than any picture we've taken of W so far. LOL!!
Just look at this face! Doesn't it remind you of someone else?