Six weeks! I just cannot believe he was born 4 days into January and it is already halfway through February! We are (thanks Grandma!) planning for a big family vacation at CHRISTMAS time, and things are already booked! This year is flying by...I feel very overwhelmed most days, with how much time I seem NOT to have and things I seem to NOT get done.
Then I think about what I DO get done...spending an entire day with a sweet boy. Still no routine, which is soooooooo difficult for someone like me to adjust to. Right when I feel like we might have a bit of one, it changes. So, I am trying very hard to get used to the idea of just not having a schedule at all. Again, every fiber of my TYPE A-Being screams at that, but at this point, I just have to surrender or I'll drive myself crazy trying to get everything I got done before Luke was born done AND tend to him all day. My once-a-month counselor told me that I sound like I am trying to be responsible for far too much and need to just be responsible for myself and Luke right now...and the rest will fall into place.
I feel more like the rest is falling apart, ha ha! In any event, I'm allowing myself some leeway in getting things done. If I can get one or two things on a list complete, I'm super happy.
A post each week for Luke, at minimum, is on the list for today, so I'm thrilled I can get it done. Of course, as I type, I hear him cooing away on the monitor, so not sure how many details I'll get out!
He's had a few rough nights in the last week, but still, nothing like I know so many with newborns have. More just getting up more often because he was out of sorts, but not having to spend lots of time getting him back to sleep. John is pushing to get him into his bedroom because he thinks I'll sleep better when I can sleep but he forgets that I'll STILL be on hyper-aware for every sound, and him being further away will be MORE work for me!
He also has the nasal congestion still, and now some lung congestion and the sometimes-runny eye. We see the doctor on Friday for a growth check (his cheeks are filling out and his diapers are always full, so I am fine with his growth!) and I'll ask about this congestion, his eye and this rash he seems to get randomly. It's all over his face--well, mostly cheeks and a teeny bit behind his ears. It comes and goes--no real rhyme or reason. Sometimes, his skin looks just as clear and perfect as it ever has. Then, for no reason, it looks like he has horrible, horrible baby acne. Then, for no reason....just a little bit of a rash. It's sometimes raised and bumpy, others just red. The consensus seems to be that it's probably some sort of a heat rash; John thinks it's cradle cap (he did have a bout with some dandruff for a few days, but it's gone) and I am wondering if he may have some allergies.
Whatever it is, I have to say that it has taken everything I can possibly do to not have been to the doctor the second I saw the first bump. I am working very hard to not overreact to 'normal' newborn things, but have to say...it's hard. Again, in talking with my counselor, she validated so much for me. The reality is that I do NOT have any idea of what a 'normal newborn' experience is.
My experience with newborns is that they die and leave me brokenhearted. So...it stands to reason that I will worry about every little thing and that is not just to be expected, it would be very weird and detached of me if I didn't. Have I mentioned how much I love this counselor? She suffered a miscarriage nearly 40 years ago and she GETS it. She GETS how hard it is to be a 'normal' mom to a 'normal' baby when you are actually a very unusual mom to a baby that is nowhere near NORMAL simply because he LIVES! I love her and am so grateful for her constant reassurance and empathy.
As usual, I try to temper my worry with action and feel like I am doing ok with the balance. I admit, though, I'll feel better Friday after talking to the doctor and just getting the official reassurance that he's fine.
He has had a few more outings this week and done well. We've been to church twice now and he is pretty good. During the week, we call his "Hands Up" position Jazz Hands, but on Sunday, they become Praise Hands and he is so cute! He pretty much sleeps through it all and for now, I'm glad so I can have him out of the nursery for just a bit longer...cold and flu season babies get a bum deal!
I have to be 100% honest. I am a huge, huge, huge fan of breast milk.
Not so much of breast feeding. It could be that again, the Type A in me makes it more difficult than it should be--worrying about whether he's getting enough and hating that sometimes he'll eat for a few minutes and others, forever...not being able to predict that.
I think it's more that we just don't have the 'groove' for the latching...and not only is it painful sometimes, it's just frustrating--especially at 2:30 in the morning. He'll do a great latch and then pull off...and we go again. This happens maybe 8-12 times a feeding. Each side. He just never seems hungry enough to put much effort into eating, and I know I am making all my lactation consultants and La Leche Friends cringe when I say this, but seriously, pumping to bottles is looking more and more like the option for us. I realize it's more work, but honestly, it's controlled work, and I feel more like I could deal better with that.
I know that not many people want to know about this, or really care (surely Luke won't when he's older and reads this!) but I am writing about it because I have been really humbled in this whole process and feel like I ought to come clean in that confession.
I've obviously come to 'know' over the last 2 years many, many mommies--through blogs that deal with infertility, pregnancy, loss and pregnancy after loss...I've read and follow so many different women with babies and have read about their ups and downs. Most times, when reading about the frustrations of breast feeding, in my comments, I'd say, "You do what's right for YOU!" and truly, truly, truly meant it. In my head, though, I'd think, "But WE are going to make breast feeding work, NO MATTER WHAT!"
After all...one thing I did learn when Matthew died was that I'd be a great milk-maker. And I am.
It takes two to tango, though, and as much as I like to 'control' situations, let me say now...newborns will NOT let you control them!!!!!
Like I said, I've been humbled. I don't feel like a failure, I just feel a bit guilty for not 'loving' every single thing about parenthood. Motherhood, more specifically. Don't get me wrong...I am so grateful I have the opportunity to realize that breast feeding is probably one of the most difficult things I've tried to 'master', but...it's still hard and I'm frustrated with the decisions before me.
Give it some more time--let him have a bit to get his groove going?
Nurse and express to bottles for 'the best of both'?
Go to exclusive pumping?
I'm not ready to make any decision, so for now...I'm sort of in the middle and just hoping the right decision for us makes itself more clear.
I think we are over 7 pounds...maybe even close to 7 and a half. Again, we'll know on Friday. I also think his eyes are definitely going to be daddy's color, though there are lots of times he'll make a face with his eyes and I am instantly transported to a picture of me as a baby. All in all, though, he looks SO much like daddy. For looking so much like Matthew when he was first born (and Matthew looking like me), I wonder if this would have happened with Matthew as well? Looking like me for the first few days/weeks and then daddy more and more each new day?
He's stirring...and I have forsaken a shower for this blog post! That's ok...I want him to know his mommy's thoughts...and he loves me even if I am a bit scraggly! Little Bit...mommy loves you so, so much. Here are some pictures from your sixth week!