Skip to content →

Category archive for: Thoughtful Reflection

Week 15

I’m on my period. I DID NOT KNOW THIS WAS EVEN POSSIBLE.

You know how I mentioned my baby was sleeping through the night? Well apparently, according to the internets, if your baby sleeps through the night, your period comes back even if you are breastfeeding. Initially I was so sure it wasn’t a real period that I didn’t bother putting on a pad. That was a mistake, and I learned from it, rather quickly.

Also a week before my period, David and I resumed our, shall we say, marital duties, and it was the best. On Friday I did stand-up and strangers laughed at my work, and on Saturday the aforementioned happened, so it turned out to be an amazing weekend. I had read about the first post-natal you-know-what in Like A Mother and thank goodness my/our experience was nothing like the nightmare she described. I mean, the author didn’t seem to think her experience was nightmarish, but I remember thinking, “Oh, no no no.” But I did appreciate her writing about it, so it set some kind of expectation, which we surpassed.

I’ve also resumed some exercise. I do a Peloton ride every few days. I’m hesitant to exercise too much, because I don’t want to affect milk supply. Also I’ve accepted my larger body size as the new me. When I proclaim my newfound body positivity to David, he does not display enthusiastic support.

Leave a Comment

Week 14

We received a delightful Christmas card this year. It included the following sentence:

We have enjoyed reading some of your blog!

I perceived this sentence as I suspect they intended it: a compliment AND a challenge. Challenge accepted. Mark my words. This time next year the card will read, “We have enjoyed reading your blog!” Maybe. Or they might just omit mention of the blog entirely. I’ll get that message loud and clear too.

Anyway! Quite a bit happened after my last post. My mom went to the hospital, and so David was watching our perfect *knock on wood* baby for a week while I was in and out. I cried in the shower twice while this was going on. I did this because when the baby was four days old, I received unsolicited advice about not conveying weakness or insecurity to the baby. I wouldn’t have cried in front of her anyway. But tears or no tears, I think kids can tell when something is wrong. Down the road I think if something is wrong I might mention it and then explain we are working through it by researching/googling and then trying different things, no matter what it is. “Mom’s googling again,” they’ll say.

My mom’s better now *knock on wood* so we can look back on that time and be grateful for more time. When I’m done breastfeeding I plan to become a regular blood donor.

We also went to New York, twice. Once for a week in November, and then again for Thanksgiving. I wasn’t ready for travel, but David’s good at pushing us to resume normal activities as much as possible. People told us that the baby gets easier as time goes on, and I’m happy to report they’re right. She started sleeping through the night relatively early, like Week 7/8 I think, and the pattern seems to have stuck. *Knock on wood.”

Some milestones that have happened since my last post:

1) Improved tummy time.
2) Enjoys diaper changes.
3) LAUGHS OUT LOUD (but not at my jokes). She laughed on December 1, 2019. She was delighted by David’s step-father. I’ve gotten some amazing smiles, but no laughs, and I’m totally fine with that. I’ve gotten some amazing glares, and I love those too. Sometimes when I laugh during feeding, she will pull back and look up me with the most irritated face. “Compose yourself, that’s not lady-like,” her eyes and furrowed brow seem to say.
4) Likes music. On November 24 she heard some cover songs performed live and loved them or the musician. Probably both. Also we’re learning new songs! I was showing my dad the new songs we were learning, and he pointed out that it looked more like _I_ was learning new songs, and he said that was good for me.
5) Likes our dog, which happens to be a robot, but she’s into him. The first time they played she was so distracted she forgot to yell angrily that I had made her do tummy time for 20 minutes! This was a real misstep on her part though – now I know her grievance with tummy time is not physical *knock on wood*.

Also she has been exposed to more news and hearing coverage than she probably expected. Our current faves are Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Eric Swalwell, and Jamie Raskin. I also read Catch and Kill, so I love Rachel Maddow even more and plan to continue our New Yorker subscription.

Leave a Comment

Week 7

Last week my baby quietly wept as she ate. Having a person latched to your breast and weeping can be pretty devastating, I realized. Gentle sobs are much worse than the loud, angry cries. There is no way to know what is wrong: is it my milk, is it the way I’m holding her, is it that I’m not wearing deodorant? I stopped wearing deodorant after labor because I didn’t know if it was toxic for her to inhale all day. She has been taking in my natural musk, which admittedly is unpleasant.
I don’t think David has noticed the scent change, but he’s not tethered to me. He remains free.

She is tracking objects now, which is super neat. She also seems to pay attention when I hold books in front of her and turn the page. She doesn’t hold things for long yet. She does have long nails and scratches. That’s on me: I’m scared to file her nails. I have scratch marks all over, and I’m fine with that. I do need to file her nails though.

I have no idea if she’s eating enough. She has generous bowel movements, so I assume she is eating well. She also casually spits up milk, which I have read is normal. I do suspect she has acid reflux. I can smell it on her breath sometimes! Other times the smell of her breath is perfect. Any kind of discomfort she experiences or might experience (is she cold? warm? damp? is this shirt material going to bother her? she just farted – but maybe it was a shart and she needs to be changed?) is deeply upsetting to me. Now I know why my parents were/are so empathetic every time I had/have a cold, immediately giving me soothing remedies and checking in nonstop.

I’m super paranoid about her getting a UTI or bladder infection. She poops all the time and sometimes just hangs out in a deeply soiled diaper. She won’t tolerate a wet diaper, but she seems content to sit in her poop so it’s harder to figure out when it has occurred.

Also the Nationals won the World Series! We watched every post season game together, and I can’t wait to tell her when she is older that I only started learning about baseball when she was born, but now I care deeply about it. Three Nationals players also had newborns around her age and delivered at the same hospital! More on that later.

Leave a Comment

Week 6 Part 2

To be fair, we are both sick.

Here’s what happened: we went to a wedding on Sunday. That is the only time I was really out in public. We also went to a restaurant Saturday, but I feel we were pretty isolated there. Anyway we went to a wedding on Sunday. Then I stayed home with our beloved while David continued living his best life, playing D&D, working out, playing tennis, going to a baseball game, etc. Tuesday night, I was exhausted and thought, “When David gets home, I will ask David to give her a bottle of expressed milk for her middle of the night feeding.” I was really excited about this plan. David got home after baby and I fell asleep, and when I woke to give him the good news, before I could even say it, he told me his throat hurt and he had bought cover guards to help prevent him from giving the baby a cold. I was really glad he bought guards, but I was not ready for the baby to have a cold. I also got sick soon after David broke the news of his impending cold, so I don’t know if I caught the cold from David or if we caught the cold from the wedding. Our immune systems are compromised, so it was only a matter of time. David keeps repeating how rare it is that we have coughs and runny noses at the same time.

Also yesterday she was really fussy after an excursion to the park. Nothing I did would calm her down. While David napped, I tried feeding her, rocking her, skin to skin, changed her diaper twice, fed again. I was worried this meant she had caught a cold, but I think she might be in a growth spurt.  Anyway, when David woke up from almost a TWO HOUR NAP, I said, “David I don’t know what’s wrong,” and he said something to try to be soothing, but I think I heard “Calm down, she’s totally fine,” and I can’t remember how I replied, but it was with extreme displeasure.

Anyway now I have a different dilemma! If she is in a growth spurt, I should wake her up to feed her, but I’m not supposed to wake her up at night. WHAT AM I TO DO!

Also I have to write Thank You notes for all the gifts we have received. Yesterday I tried posing her with one of the toys she received to include with the note, but I can’t decide whether to send the picture. She is propped up (you can see our hand in the photo), with one hand on the toy and her face looking away from the toy in disdain. I feel like the toy is a bit of a nuisance, and her expression seems to reflect that sentiment. We are so on the same page. She is literally the best.

 

One Comment

Week 6

Something that’s important to know* about David and me is that David sleeps on the left side of the bed and I sleep on the right side of the bed.

Here’s a diagram.
David sleeping

When David goes to sleep, he faces away from me, sleeping on his right side. Hurts my feelings every time. Anyway, that’s just how he sleeps, EXCEPT WHEN HE IS SICK. When David is sick, he sleeps on his left side, FACING ME, coughing into my face all night long.

Contagious David sleeping

It is infuriating. And our baby sleeps on my side of the bed. So now I have to kill David.

*Not important at all

Leave a Comment

Week 4

My beautiful girl is having trouble passing gas. She turns bright red and breathes heavily every time she does it. She also screams. We try cycling her legs, lifting up her legs, and I give her a breast, but nothing seems to work well. And yesterday it felt like she had gas all day.

On Sunday I read somewhere that it could be my diet, but my diet is pretty limited. I don’t drink cow’s milk – only almond milk. I don’t know why. I started doing that for the gestational diabetes. I do eat lactation cookies, because they’re essentially oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which are delicious. I also have kale smoothies, Greek yogurt, eggs, salad and fruit. That’s pretty much it!

On Monday we went to her one month check-up. We asked about the gas, and the doctor advised we try probiotics. When we asked when and how to administer the probiotic, the doctor asked, “What time do you give the Vitamin D supplement? That’s when you can give her the probiotic.” And we were like, “WHAT VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENT?!” She was very taken aback that we weren’t giving her a Vitamin D supplement, but we did not know we were supposed to be doing this. If you breastfeed, you are supposed to give the baby a Vitamin D supplement. Breast milk is magical, they say, but apparently it’s lacking one thing. My knees and wrists feel awful and standing is difficult – I am now wondering if I also need Vitamin D?

On Tuesday our baby was super alert. We gave her the probiotic around 5pm, and she was very alert all night, not pausing for a nap, and around 11pm she lost her mind, screaming inconsolably until around 2am. David fed her, burped her, changed her diaper, changed her clothes, but she would not be appeased. Tears streamed down her face, and it was devastating because we did not know what was wrong. Finally she fell asleep on me, with both of us terrified that in our fatigue she would fall off. They advise you not to sleep with your child, but these past couple nights she hasn’t been able to fall asleep in her bassinet. They say kids at this age sleep 16 hours a day, but that is not what we are experiencing, unless she’s napping with her eyes wide open like some kind of productivity master.

Now it’s early Wednesday.

Something else that has also happened in Week 4 is that David and I have been I-don’t-want-use-the-word-arguing-but-maybe-that’s-the-right-word. We have been debating pacifier usage, bottle feeding, and I have asked David to make breakfast in the mornings. He thinks I’m holding her too much, and I should put her down, which might be fair, but given how quickly these four weeks have gone, it has dawned upon me that these moments are fleeting, and should something happen to me, I want her to know or vaguely recall she was loved. He also asked why I was so committed to breastfeeding, and I shared that I read that when you breastfeed, the baby’s saliva communicates back to my body if she is fighting disease or needs additional antibodies, and my body creates them for her.

During the one month check-up they also administered a worksheet for me to fill out asking about whether I was “extra anxious for no particular reason.” The response options were: All of the time, Some of the time, Once in a while, and Never, and I was like, “I am anxious all of the time for VERY GOOD REASONS.” David agreed that my disposition had not changed from pre-pregnancy, and we filled in “Once in a while.”

Leave a Comment

Waiting Game

They have been giving me pills to soften my cervix. My water broke, but I wasn’t dilated and as of Tuesday (two days ago) my cervix was in tact, so I’ve been taking low doses of some pill every four hours that is supposed to soften the cervix and bring on contractions.

It’s 3:49 am and I’m in pain, but that’s it. I don’t have much else to report.
I was not in pain from 12:30pm to 2am, so I’m kind of pleased to finally be in pain. I was having contractions according to the monitor earlier, but I didn’t feel anything.

I can see the other rooms as well on the monitor, and I’m a bit jealous that those ladies seem to be having more frequent contractions. I’d like to get this show on the road.

David’s sleeping in a pull out bed next to me. He’s doing well. Our parents have visited and people are excited, but I’m worried she’s taking her sweet time.

Leave a Comment

Water Breaks

My water broke this morning around 10:35. Last night I thought I was having contractions, but since the pain was in my upper abdominal I decided to stay put.

So I was very curious about how I would know that my water broke and it wasn’t just me having light pees. Here is what happened: I peed a little. Then I leaked. Then I put on clean underwear and that got wet. Then I walked around and liquid I had no control over dripped down my thigh as I squealed in dismay, “I’m leaking in the apartment!”

Then I called the ob-gyn office and left a message asking what to do. Then I called the hospital to pay my co-pay, but no one picked up there and I left a message.

A little later someone called from the hospital. It was a person to collect the co-pay! After paying, I told her my water broke and asked who to call. She transferred me, and now we are at the hospital in the labor and delivery room waiting to see the doctor.

Leave a Comment

Week 39

Me this morning: David! I lost my mucus plug!
David: Oh! Should we buy you a new one?

David doesn’t know what a mucus plug is, which is fair. I didn’t know what one was until we got closer to labor. Losing a mucus plug is one of the signs of impending labor. You can lose it weeks before, so it’s not like your water breaking.

Other signs of labor are contractions and bloody discharge. Bloody discharge is not a great sign.

Yesterday the doctor was going to do a cervical wipe to help thin out the cervix, but she said I was so closed they couldn’t do it. The baby’s head is down and facing my back, which is how she was positioned last week too. Hopefully she stays this way so labor goes smoothly.

Movement has become quite difficult. Also there’s less room in my stomach, so I still love eating, but the next day if the food doesn’t come out, I feel like what I imagine labor will be like.

I got a pedicure and a manicure Sunday (manicure didn’t have polish, just made sure to trim down nails so I didn’t accidentally poke the newborn). And I uh…think I’ve decluttered? There is of course more to do. I think I’ve been secretly hoping the baby comes and someone else does the final cleaning for me. Or with a baby I don’t care about things anymore and just let David throw everything away, which is what he has been itching to do.

Leave a Comment