Month ONE (a little late!)

*I started this blog over a week ago and didn’t finish when I started . . .so it’s a bit disjointed. And I’m even worse at blogging with a baby than I thought! I am finishing this blog thanks to the baby k’tan, which allows me to actually use two hands to do something while home alone with Ansel*

Well, I guess I’m one of those bloggers I always got annoyed with who finally had the baby and then stopped posting. I am both frustrated with myself and have a new appreciation for those bloggers I used to be so frustrated with. I am simultaneously doing nothing and also have absolutely no time to do anything. Similar to my feelings about time – everything is both fast and slow, all at the same time. I’m updating now because La took Ansel to a meeting and I am at a s’bux down the street, feeling both relieved and weirdly sad to be all of a half mile away from my baby.

The biggest news is, of course, Ansel hit the one month mark! Tuesday was four weeks and Friday was 30 days, so no matter how you slice a month, he’s there!

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On Friday, La and I picked up a copy of his birth certificate – with BOTH of our names, and both of us listed as “mother”! It’s pretty amazing to see it there in black and white. I know that names on a birth certificate are not – YET – a guarantee of security for our family, but it’s still pretty amazing to have. And, unlike the hospital, where the BC lady seemed confused and unable to accommodate us, the vital statistics office took care of things without batting an eye. Proving it’s not actually that hard not to be a homophobic dick.

More and more, we are adjusting to this new normal. By adjusting, I mean I am able to do things other than sit in a chair (or on the couch) and breastfeed-watch TV-doze with a baby on my chest. Don’t get me wrong, those activities still take up a good portion of my time, I’m just ALSO able to occasionally do a load of laundry, wander around tar.get in a postpartum haze and prepare lunch other than corn chips and salsa.

Ansel is also becoming more human. Just today, he gave us what appeared to be a legit smile – at least, it was a smile in response to something – up to this point, he has only grinned in his sleep! He is also starting to see things beyond the 1 foot range, as evidenced by his newfound fascination with the assortment of black picture frames on our  living room wall. He can also enjoy his infant gym for 5-10 minute stretches, and spend small amounts of time alert without also being angry or hungry. I’m trying to be aware that Ansel may be a tiny bit behind the normal markers, since he was almost three weeks early. And, of course, I am also sure my baby is the most precocious and precious, because I am his mother and that’s what we do. Right?

Breastfeeding is still going. I want to say it’s gotten easier, but really I think I’ve just gotten more used to it and have more tools in my arsenal. At Thursdays group, A was 7lbs 3.5oz – which means he gained 7ozs in a week, exactly what he should be gaining. I’m currently taking 1500mg metformin, fenugreek, and goat’s rue, and my supply is adequate but still sort of stressing me out. Per the recommendation of the LC (and my friend Jen at Good Families Do ) I’m going to add moringa and shatavari as well. I’m also still pumping after feeds 2-3 times  day, and then feeding that back to him when he needs it, and averaging 7-9ozs per day from those 2-3 pumps. Update! As of last Tuesday 4/21, A was at 7lbs 12.4oz! I started the shatavari and moringa. Still pumping 2-3 times per day and feeding it back. When he hits the 10lb mark, I will likely start stockpiling vs. having him eat what I pump on the same day. I haven’t noticed an appreciable difference in my supply, but I’m feeling confident about it. 

I have to almost constantly remind myself that we are doing GOOD with breastfeeding. That my baby is growing as he should eating only my breastmilk (BTW – I just want it to be abundantly clear that I think any way of feeding a baby that works for the family is the best way; I just also feel really strongly for us that exclusive breastfeeding/milk is the goal) And I’m having more and more days where the above feels true, and I can settle into it and be ok for a while. AND, I also wish that more people talked openly about how fucking hard this whole thing is, because I really had no idea how consuming it would be or how crazy it would make me. The money I spend to to the LC group is worth every single penny because it normalizes things in an amazing way.

The fun new breastfeeding development is the plugged duct I have acquired in my left breast. I noticed it on Friday night – a hard, tender lump and super intense let down (I usually don’t really feel much in the way of let down at all, so this really sucked!) Since then, I’ve been using hot compresses, pumping and nursing extra, and massaging the plug as much as possible. So far, no dice. Anyone have experience want to chime in about when I call my midwife about this? I’m definitely keeping an eye out for signs of mastitis, and so far it’s just localized redness at the site of the lump. Another update: I ended up with a second plug in the same breast, and had them both for almost a week before they finally cleared. I took a high dose of lecithan, per the LC’s reccomendation, which seemed to help, and now I’m on a maintenance dose. I’m thinking we had some weird latch/suck issues for a while only on the left, since I was having intense vasospasms and the plugs, but that seems to have resolved for now.

And here’s where I pick up for good on 4/27/15:

Ansel is still sleeping stretches of 5 hours many nights, interspersed with nights where he’s up every 2-3. I’m grateful for the longer periods, although lately we’ve been staying up while he’s sleeping – which is, arguably, not the best use of time. But it’s nice to do tasks, hang out with La, cuddle the bulldogs (who have adjusted well, but miss having all the attention) – feel like more than a pair of boobs on call, basically. But, this means that Ansel’s 5 hour stretches of sleep are only about 2 1/2 or 3 hour stretches for mama. But, we all make choices, I suppose.

Today was my 6 week check up, and we ended up seeing the midwife who was there for my c-section (who was also the midwife who told us the week before A was born that I had pre-E and we’d be having a baby that weekend) – she told us that the nurses at the hospital still talk about how great we were. La and I often hope to be the ‘favorites’ (we are fairly sure we are also our therapist’s favorite couple) – so the confirmation was welcome. I’ll actually be sad not to see the midwives again – until something else comes up, I suppose. (or La get’s knocked up!)

I’m going to save my deeper reflections about my c-section for another post. I’m going to try and be a little more regular about updates, but I’m not into making promises I can’t necessarily keep so . . .I’ll do my best! (I do read and comment as much as I can with only one hand. Can more of you try and update between 1-4am? That’s when I really need something to read!)

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12 thoughts on “Month ONE (a little late!)

  1. I can’t believe it’s been (over) a month! Thanks for sharing the breastfeeding struggle. It’s amazing how everyone’s experience is so vastly different. One minute, someone is telling you how easy it is, and the next minute, someone is in tears over how challenging it’s been. I wish there was a way to know in advance which camp you’ll fall into so you could prepare mentally. How’s cloth diapering going? I have tasked Catch with finding a diaper service!

  2. I can’t remember off hand but one of those supplements is counterproductive with thyroid issues. I can’t remember!!! It is either fenugreek, goat’s rue, or shatavari (don’t know much about that one). Your body can only really benefit from so much galactogogues so it might be better to rotate them than take them all all the time.

    I am glad for the update! I am also impressed you have wandered Target already. It is really hard to blog and mom at the same time.

    • That’s good to know! I kinda thought more is better. . . But it makes sense. Also interesting that you mention the thyroid thing because I just got a call from my midwife that my tsh was really low (not bad just unusual) so I’ll do some research!

      • It is fenugreek! It is incompatible with thyroid medications, can actually decrease milk supply, and block absorption of the medication. I would discuss witht the LC you have been working with as well as the doctor who prescribed the medicine in case you need your levels rechecked and dose adjusted.

  3. Sounds like you are doing amazing. I’d dearly love to exclusively breastfeed too, so any prep ideas you have will be gladly accepted. I’ll be seeing my naturopath again at about 36 weeks so she might have some advice and supplements for me too. I’d forgotten about Shatavari but used it when TTC the first time. Will ask about it again for breastfeeding. I ought to update as that will probably be about the right time for you due to our time zones, but gah – just so busy with moving and being exhausted lol. X

  4. Great update! What a cutie pie! You can freeze breast milk for I think up to 6 months, so if the pumping is mostly for boosting supply you could store some of what you’re pumping and offer the boob more often. I had a hard time with supply at times, especially after DD was in full time daycare, and offering the boob more often when I was around her was the only thing that helped. Pumping only got me dribbles. Good luck! My first month bf’ing was a challenge, but then it became a comfortable (and holy moly convenient) routine.

  5. Good to hear from you, and how freaking adorable is Ansel in his cloth? Glad to hear everything is going well! Our boys go to sleep around 8:30, but we don’t sleep at that time at all…most nights we don’t get to bed until 11, cuz basically, cuddling…it’s not easy, and we’re exhausted, but it works best for us! Hope the nursing continues to go well…if it’s not one thing, it’s another! Fuerza amiga!

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