We’ve been adjusting one day at a time to life with a baby. The first week or so was both laid back and stressful. It was laid back in that we had no obligations (other than a pediatrician appointment), places to be, or things to do. We just hung out at home with family and took care of our adorable baby. On the other hand, it was stressful because Jack wasn’t nursing very well. Besides the normal learning curve that comes with nursing (for both baby and mom!), Jack was simply far more interested in sleeping than eating. And while that sure made things quiet and peaceful – and allowed us to get plenty of sleep – Jack weight was trending downward, not upward. Not good. Getting him to nurse for even 5 minutes was a battle. There were tears (mine and his) and prayers (ours and others) and a LOT of conversations between me and Zach trying to figure out what was best. After several days of waking Jack up every 2.5 hours to eat, pumping and syringing breastmilk into his mouth (after eeking out 5-6 minutes of actual breastfeeding), emails and texts to friends, a couple phone calls to a lactation consultant and 3 chiropractic appointments, we finally turned a corner on day 10 and he started nursing well consistently. Whew. What an emotional roller coaster THAT was.
(Let me just say right here – I’m convinced that a HUGE help in getting Jack to nurse better was seeing a chiropractor. Yes, you read that right. We took our 5 day old infant to a chiropractor. That may sound a little strange. And believe me, I would have thought it very strange myself up until a year or so ago when I heard of a few friends who had done it. As I looked further into the idea I discovered that infants actually can benefit in amazing ways from chiropractic treatment. Everything from helping them sleep and nurse better to greatly aiding in colic and digestive issues. In the first several days after bringing Jack home from the hospital there were times when he would cry and fuss more than seemed normal and it really sounded to me like he was in pain. Sure enough, the chiropractor immediately confirmed my suspicions that it hurt his neck to turn and nurse on one side. Jack saw our chiropractor 3 times within the first 10 days of his life and he always nursed significantly better after each adjustment. I have become a HUGE fan of infant chiropractic care and strongly recommend it now to all of my friends!)
At 3 weeks old, Jack still really loves his sleep! Which, other than sometimes getting in the way of his eating, has been very wonderful for us! Per our pediatrician’s recommendation, we’ve been using a loose schedule. Basically, during the day, he eats every 2.5-3 hours even if that means waking him up. After his last feeding (usually around 11:30pm) he gets to sleep as long as he wants and I simply nurse him whenever he wakes up during the night. So far he has continued to give us two 3-4 hour stretches, waking up around 3am for a feeding and then going back to sleep till 6:30/7:00. What an amazing blessing this has been for me! The sleep deprivation has felt minimal. I still try and take a nap each day, but overall, I feel relatively well rested. Ironically, even though I love schedules and routines, I had not intended to try and put my baby on any kind of schedule for at least the first several weeks. But due to his needing to eat regularly and needing to combat some of his sleepiness, the pediatrician recommend the above schedule. And you know what? It’s working really great for us. Jack has responded super well (gaining weight yay!) and it’s made it very easy to get other things done (appointments, errands, etc).
Nursing sessions now equal watching a show or movie. I’ve been making my way through the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the A&E series Horatio Hornblower, season 5 of Leverage, and am planning to start Gilmore Girls next. Fun times!
As delightful as it is having a newborn, there have definitely been some significant mental adjustments. I now live my life in 1.5-2 hour blocks of time. Our day pretty much revolves around Jack’s feeding schedule. But thankfully he is very easy going, generally only fusses when he needs/wants something, and enjoys his carseat – making errands and appointments quite doable. It’s a slower pace of life, to be sure, but still feels normal. 🙂 I’ve also had to adjust my thinking that nighttime = sleep time. Um, not exactly. I try and prioritize a daily nap since I’m no longer getting a “full” night’s sleep and I can’t necessarily presume the kind of sleep I will get each night.
My recovery has gone remarkably well! I’ve had little to no pain from the actual incision. The muscles behind the incision have felt weird and tight but have slowly been returning to normal. By the time we came home from the hospital, I was definitely able to walk around, albeit slowly. Within a week of the birth, I was moving around a lot more and feeling relatively normal. Now, 3 weeks out, other than some remaining belly pooch and a bit of a sore back from nursing, I’m feeling GREAT. Not that I’m planning to hit the gym or start running again just yet, but I’m so grateful to be feeling nearly 100% so quickly. I was a bit worried about my pregnancy weight gain – a grand total of 45lbs by the time I delivered. Yikes! But as you may remember from pictures, it was pretty much all in my belly (plus a 9lb, 22″ baby, plus “generous” amniotic fluid), so I was hopeful that it wouldn’t be too awful losing it on the other side. Amazingly, 20lbs pretty much fell off within the first week, with another 10lb following suit over the next 2 weeks. I can tell I’m definitely burning a lot of calories nursing because I am hungry ALL the time. It’s crazy! But hey, it means my body is working hard to feed my child and it definitely helps in the whole “bouncing back” area. Hooray!
And of course, every post should include pictures!
My sleepy boy:
He likes to pull the blanket up over his face. Every time!
He’s started to have more awake times now – which we love!
Sleeping in the carseat. Also the inaugural use of the stroller…
This boy loves to look at Daddy. He STUDIES Daddy’s face – it’s the cutest thing.
Don’t you just loooove little baby toes? He has loooong feet and toes.
This is the “milk drunk” smile that I am rewarded with after nearly every feeding. And this one isn’t nearly as big as some of the ones he’s given me. Happy sigh…
Life is good.