Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Breakout

Wow- I feel good today. I feel rested and invigorated even though I didn't really get that much more sleep last night than I have been getting since Harris was born (which is around 4 hours on average, broken up). As I mentioned back on the 28th, I have been on "house arrest" since the 23rd. My house arrest wasn't just "to the house" it was "to the basement". The midwives didn't want me going up or down any stairs. Luckily, our basement is fully finished, and super cozy, not to mention, it has a full bath, laundry, our tv room, a bedroom, and our computers (computers being as important to me as the toilet, mind you). I actually really enjoyed my confinement. It was like a warm baby cocoon- just me, Mindi, and our son, all just taking the time to get to know each other. I can't say that I am an expert mom now, by any stretch of the imagination, but the intensity of the bonding and learning time that the three of us had in our basement was priceless and extraordinarily helpful. By the 4th day, I realized that my boobs weren't working. My milk came in late in the day on day 3, but by day 4 I realized that it wasn't coming out... I stayed up with the baby that night because he was being fussy (no wonder, he was HUNGRY!) During a crying spell, unable to get him to latch on, I went to get Mindi and we gave him his first taste of formula. I cried as he ravenously sucked it down from Mindi's dropper. I never felt that my boobs had failed me- I had had a breast reduction surgery in 2004 and I knew that I may not be able to breastfeed. It was still sad, but I have come to accept it. I currently pump what I can (which is barely 1/4 of an ounce total from one pumping session.) We now mix this expressed milk into his formula bottles. We fondly refer to my little "doses" as "vitamins". It helps take the edge off. I will continue pumping this way until my boobs completely dry up.

The "Vitamins"


Anyway...

So, the 30th marked Harris's 1 week birthday. That was the day that I was technically allowed to leave the house if I so chose. Now, I realize that I had left already for the pediatrician appointment, but that was just when we could schedule it. I had a hair appointment set for the 31st. man, did I need that! It wasn't until I came home from my hair appointment, without any makeup on, in schlumpy clothes, but with fabulous hair, that I realized that EVERY WOMAN NEEDS TO LOOK NICE FOR HERSELF. I had been so focused on Harris and making sure that my wife got enough sleep, that I had forgotten to change out of my PJ's for 5 days straight, and I didn't smell too good either... After I got my haircut, I got excited about the fact that, although my current life, at least for the time being, was going to rotate around my new infant son, I was still me, and I am still pretty (regardless of what my big hips and saggy tummy say), and I should take care of myself too! For 2 nights after my haircut, we decided to try something different than what had become our typical night routine of 4 hour shifts up with the baby. We decided that I would sleep in the basement bedroom alone with the baby in his Moses basket, feeding and changing him at his call, while Mindi would sleep upstairs in our normal bedroom in an effort to get some really good sleep. We did this for 2 nights in a row. It worked great for Mindi, and pretty well for me too. We both got to sleep and the baby got cared for. Yesterday, after waking and showering, I actually took the time to blow-dry my hair- after all, I had just gotten it cut, and then I actually put clothes on, and then, before I knew it, I had MAKEUP on my face, and I was thinking- hey, let's go outside! It was amazing! Mindi was thrilled with the idea too, so we made our inaugural trip with the baby to Costco. I donned my newly acquired (and TOTALLY AWESOME) Moby wrap (which Harris loves) and off we went, down aisle and aisle of Costco goodness. I was so excited to be out of the house, wearing cute clothes, makeup and decent hair, with my beautiful wife and son, all the while, feeling like a NORMAL PERSON as opposed to a newly post-partum, flabby, mindless, hormonal mush of a person with a sore bottom. I felt so happy to feel normal again that I actually stopped a woman and her 2 kids and asked her to take a picture of us together :).


But wait, there's MORE! So, we get home, and I decide, that as much as I have loved the cozy cave of a basement that had been our bomb shelter from the real world for the previous 10 days, it was time to break out into normalcy. I wanted my bed back! Mindi had had it all to herself for 2 days, and I was a wee bit jealous. It didn't take very much to convince her to let me back into our bed, after all, she missed me too. So we vacated the basement and relocated everything to it's rightful places. I set up the changing station in the nursery, prepared the nightly bottles, and brought the Moses basket to the side of the bed. At bed time, we both took a deep breath, and hit the lights. And Slept. HOLY SHIT! WE SLEPT! TOGETHER! WOW! Yes, the baby woke up about every 2 hours to eat and be changed, but that was cool, because when he wasn't whimpering for care he too, was sleeping! I felt soooooo relieved this morning when my wife rolled over to me, took out her earplugs, and said, "that went well".

I am welcoming my old and improved life- now, if I could just get my nipples to stop leaking when I don't want them to, and start producing more liquid gold for my baby when I pump...

10 comments:

  1. You don't have to give up on the breastfeeding yet, if you don't want to. My milk took forever to come in. I supplemented with formula, and then just breastfed as much as I could to get my supply up. It worked. It took weeks, though. No one tells you that this happens. It might be the surgery, or it might just be late milk coming in.

    Congrats on the Costco trip!

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  2. How wonderful for you to get back to some normalcy!! Love the sleeping pic but the one of ya at Costco is fabulous!! Glad to see ya looking so perky with such a little bitty baby :)

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  3. What a happy family in that picture:)

    And it sounds like you all had some fabulous bonding time for those first few days - I have a friend who stayed in the bedroom with her baby for 15 days and swears that that is why they are so closely bonded

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  4. CONGRATULATIONS on your new bundle of cuteness!!! You all are a beautiful family!!

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  5. yay for hair cuts and costco trips! you guys are doing great. as for the bf'ing, i also had a breast reduction and my milk supply was never really stellar. i pumped for 4 weeks and bf when i was able to. with twins, the whole thing seemed nearly impossible with such little production. like you though, i kept at it and gave them whatever came out. after a month, it was too much to keep up for the small amounts that i was getting. i felt good that i gave them as much as i was able to, though i still felt badly that it did not work out the way i had hoped and envisioned. feel free to contact me through my blog if you want to talk more about it. you're doing a great job with your little man! keep up the good work, mama!

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  6. The first time out after baby, feels so good!

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  7. Yay! I'm thrilled that you have started feeling better - it sounds like you've got a really great handle on things! I'm thinking about you guys and know that all is fantastic with you! :-)

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  8. Great post.

    1. Your hair is adorable.
    2. I think it is so cute that you stopped the lady in Cosco to take a picture of your little family. You guys all look SO happy.
    3. I am thrilled that you are feeling so good about yourself, getting some sleep (with Mindi), back in your bedroom, and had those cozy days in the basement getting to know your family on such a deep level. That is awesome.

    I am so happy for you all. It brings such a smile to my face to think of you guys with your healthy, happy baby boy!

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  9. sister, thank you for all these candid posts. i am taking notes.

    so excited for your breakout. your hair looks wonderful and you both look rested :)

    i hope you frame that photo.

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  10. back in the bedroom! new hair! costco! i'm so proud of you and just want to hug my computer screen and send you all the bliss in the world... but of course, you already have it. you have, dare i say, the perfect family. oxox

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