4.07.2015

the newborn haze



When I was pregnant, I would've said pregnancy is the hardest thing I've ever done. On some level, that's still true.

Minutes after giving birth, I looked at my mom and said labor and delivery was the hardest thing I've ever done. On some level, that's still true too.

But breastfeeding? I think it's actually the hardest thing I've ever done. And the most painful. Who knew!

6 months ago, I would've drop-kicked myself at the thought of putting the word "breastfeeding" on my blog.

Ok, don't panic! I won't go into details. We're fine, we're doing it, but it is so hard and I've cried more these past 9 days than I did in 9 months. Maybe. But she surpassed her birth weight in a week, so something is working.

We're coming out of some dark days (48 hours with only 4ish hours of sleep. Jesus take the wheel), and I'm finally over the pain hump from delivery. Let's just say the Boppy has been zero help with breastfeeding, but it has saved my life whenever I need to sit up. I have dragged that thing EVERYWHERE (ok, only the doctor's office) and I have zero shame about sitting on it in public.

Our house is littered with burp cloths and nursing pads. Friends has been on 24/7 and makes us laugh whenever we want to cry. We've been either laying on the couch or in bed with the windows open and the rain falling outside.

Whenever I'm in another room, I'm convinced I can hear her crying the same way I always think my phone is vibrating.

She's squirming and waking up even though I fed her an hour ago. I think there's a growth spurt happening because she has superglued herself to me the last few days. A moment of silence for my chest, please.

This morning, in my state of delirium, I caught myself singing It's Raining Men while nursing her. I have no idea where it came from, but I immediately switched to a rousing rendition of Jesus Loves Me as soon as I noticed. We then listened to Edelweiss on youtube and I cried over the lyrics and the fact that I used to sing it to her while I was pregnant.

Postpartum recovery is not a joke. I got so desperate I sent James to buy me some Depends the day we got home from the hospital. That's right! You heard it here first. I could do absolutely nothing for myself for the first week due to the pain, so James has had to change Gracie's diaper and then help me change mine. We've put the "for better or for worse" part of our marriage vows to the test. Thankfully, he's wonderful. Also, witch hazel. It helps so much but I'm going to have PTSD from the smell.

We bought some Honest Company diapers, and I've been more excited over the fact that her diapers have bikes on them than the fact that I'm not resigned to maternity clothes anymore.

But really! I have a waist again! I forgot what it's like. I keep putting my hands on it and marveling. I still look a little pregnant, but I've never felt more like a supermodel. And I can BEND OVER. I miss having a built-in coffee table on my midsection, but fitting into my sweatpants again is worth it.

James is going back to work tomorrow, and I'm so scared I could vomit. I'm thinking of which outfits I can put her in to distract myself. But really, HOW DO I DO ANYTHING WITH A NEWBORN?! Now I understand why showering while you have a baby is a challenge.

Uh oh, I need to go change my diaper. I mean Gracie's diaper! I mean...nevermind.


24 comments:

  1. You are doing SO good momma! Breastfeeding IS the hardest thing. I tell every mom, get through the first 3 weeks, that's it. And it GETS SO MUCH BETTER FROM THERE. Seriously. I mean it isn't perect and all of a sudden painless and roses, but that's the hump. Man, I remember Isaac used to spit up blood because my you-know-what were so cracked and bleeding. It's got to be the most painful learning process ever. And you're both learning so give yourself grace. And oh ya, Depends. THE BEST ;)

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  2. Who needs to DO anything all day?! Just Instagram pictures of her all day err day and your fans will be satisfied.

    The rest of this...sounds horrifying but also isn't helping my baby fever one little bit. Which I'm pretty sure 87% of experts say that means you're ready for a baby, but I'm not an expert, so who knows.

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  3. I don't know if this is helpful but see a lactation...person. My hospital provides one for free. I forget what they are called!! This is not meant to be me trying to tell you what to do... But yeah I have heard breastfeeding can be very painful for lots of reasons like baby tounges and latches and other stuff. I'll be there soon. My sister said it was one of the most painful things,breastfeeding... She said it got better after 2 weeks. Hope it does for you but everyone if different!!

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    1. I have been! The Nurse Practitioner at our pediatrician's office is a lactation consultant and has saved my life. The ones in the hospital were not that helpful for me.

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    2. Seconding Michelle's comment about lactation consultants. Definitely ask the ones at the hospital, but don't give up if they're not helpful. The ones at our ped's office was so much more helpful.

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  4. My baby girl (gonna be a year old in less than two days...OMG!!!) had an immediate perfect latch but over the course of a couple days developed a bad habit. A PAINFUL bad habit. It made my toes curl. The lactation consultants were SO helpful and once we fixed the problem nursing has been a dream ever since. It's different for everyone, but I think once you and the little one get the hang of it you will enjoy it so much! Also, I remember week 3 was her first growth spurt/cluster feed. Hardest week of my life. Once I got through that week I felt like I could handle anything. You got this!!!

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  5. Just keep swimming...these first weeks are tough, but it gets better. Hang in there!

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  6. Quinn is three and a half and I still randomly stop during my shower because I think I hear her crying, even if I know she's at the other end of the house with Jarrod. I think it's like a mother's curse or something.

    I'm glad that things seem to be going pretty well with you two. It's definitely not easy, but things do start to come more naturally.

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  7. Oooooh, friend! You are doing a great job! Newborns teach us a lot, that's for sure. I'm only weeks ahead of you, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that things get easier. Remember my very depressing post last month? Ha. At least you still have your humor! Keep being an awesome mother, my friend!

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  8. Did the nurses show you how to make an ice diaper? Those were amazing during my recovery. Nursing will get easier, sounds like it is going great since she's already passed her birth weight!

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  9. Did the nurses show you how to make an ice diaper? Those were amazing during my recovery. Nursing will get easier, sounds like it is going great since she's already passed her birth weight!

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  10. Oh my gosh, she is so PRECIOUS! I love how raw and real you are -- and seriously, diapers for days, I'm sure ;)

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  11. Holy cow this took me right back to 5 months ago. I cried on and off for a good two weeks after birth. Also breastfeeding is a beast. I had an au natural home birth, in which I tore to the third degree (yup), and I'd much rather do that again than do the breastfeeding learning curve again. Also, God forbid you get mastitis, start taking lecithin supplements as soon as you recover and you'll never get it again. Of note: mastitis is worse than the worst thing that's ever happened to me.

    You are doing awesome, this too shall pass (sniff), and Gracie is perfect. :-)

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  12. You're doing great! Lanolin and Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Cream (so hippy sounding I know, but so great) and the hot/cold reusable pads (therapearl?) were my savers. And a giant sports bra to wear in the shower because I thought I was going to die. And it gets easier. It takes time as you're both on a learning curve, but you'll be amazed how different and even awesome it can be a few months out (though you don't have to wait that long!).
    Baby Diapers: we just got our Honest box today and it still hasn't lost it's thrill. Mama diapers: depends are the best. No shame. (level 4 tearing... it was yikes.)
    Anyway, she's gorgeous and I'm sure you're killing it. You can make it!

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  13. Goodness. I remember after I gave birth to my daughter, I was all, "I'm SKINNY again!!" Then I look at photos and realize that I still looked pregnant, but not hugely pregnant haha. That went away slowly but surely, and then I actually got skinny. I'm looking forward to that, because I'm getting into the "no bending over" phase of pregnancy now...

    Those newborn days are hard hard hard. Then suddenly, you figure it out. And it gets easier. And you forget. I have a three year old, and those early days are hazy to me.

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  14. omg, i missed that you had the baby!! she is beautiful! congrats!!! and omg yes, the blood. no one really tells you how much blood there will be, i was horrified. and felt like my husband and i got closer for all the grossness we had to share. glad to hear you're coming out on the other side of things!

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  15. Bah I'm scared! ha. I'm proud of you. But I'm scared for myself. I'm still in the 'let's not throw up in the next minute' phase of pregnancy, so I'm gonna go ahead and take things one day at a time. Besides just looking at Gracie's pic you can see it's worth it. :)

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  16. You sing edelweiss to the baby?!?! I do the same thing! It's the only song from the soundtrack I have and I cry every time.

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  17. I agree with Angi. More pictures all the time.

    I hope you didn't die when James went back to work. I hope James didn't fall asleep at work from the lack of sleep.

    Oh man, I'm so excited to join the club. My chest can't wait!

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  18. OH MY GOSH. I literally had not thought about how one has bodily functions immediately after the birth.
    ... I don't even know how to transition.

    Your baby is cute. Friends is the best.

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  19. Oh goodness. How are you holding up on your own? It was so hard when Nick left and then when I went back to work about 4 months later. Hardest thing ever.

    I never thought of Depends when I was suffering from postpartum stuff.. good idea! ;)

    Hang in there! Get a baby carrier or wrap. It's amazing when you can put your child on you and vacuum or do dishes. It's even more amazing when you figure out how to breastfeed while carrying your child. I once walked around the yard while breastfeeding Ellie. It was the weirdest and yet most empowering thing!

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  20. The other night, I was home alone with Dalia and Ike, and someone knocked on my door at 9 pm. NOT OKAY. I jumped up and started running around my house like a crazy person, trying to decide which weapon I should grab because CLEARLY the person knocking on my door was going to murder me. Then I spent 5 minutes peeking through various windows and our useless peephole trying to see who was at the door. When I finally calmed down, I realized I HAD BEEN BREASTFEEDING THE ENTIRE TIME!

    Does that sound impossible to you right now? Because it seemed utterly impossible to me even after 4 weeks. Breastfeeding was SO much harder than I thought it would be, and at first it was like a huge event each time she needed to eat. I would be like, "Y, fetch me the pillow, a bottle of water, a nipple shield, and a burprag. Oops, I kind of need to pee, take her. Oh, my phone. Get me my phone. Can you turn the TV on and put it on a show I like before I start feeding her?" and then 15 minutes after she started crying we could finally get started. Then one day it just clicked.

    Oh, and my boobs stopped hurting right after I went to Target and bought all of the pain relief stuff - the cooling pads and heating packs. Not because I used them... just because I bought them and opened them and then the universe was all HAHA YOU DON'T NEED THESE ANYMORE BYE FIFTEEN DOLLARS.

    All that to say -- it will get better!! Magically! I feel so wise.

    (PS every time I typed breastfeeding above I accidentally typed "breastafeeding" and now I want to pronounce it with an obnoxious Italian accent.)

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  21. I love your writing. And I am now officially scared. I actually asked someone the other day if the newborn phase is harder than pregnancy and she laughed. That's when I first knew I was in trouble. I have 2 months left and I have stupidly been counting down the days until my normal life of surfing carelessly and drinking margaritas will return. I like the idea of playing friends all day long. I have sort of looking forward to breastfeeding too. Stupid again?

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  22. Imagining you sitting on the boppy at the doctor...no shame. LOL

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