|Meet Little Fab...aka My Son|
As much as I thought life was nuts before I went into labor on Christmas Eve, I had no idea how crazy it was about to get. Although finishing up at work before my leave was stressful, it seems ridiculous now to call myself "busy" when all I had to do was work. I also had no idea how little I knew about the reality of becoming, then being, a mom. In other words, holy shit my world has been upside down since the day LF were born.
While I have fresh memories, let's recount events. I started having irregular back contractions 2 days before Christmas. These were painful but unpredictable, so we had to wait it out. Unfortunately, by the time they were regular, on Christmas Eve, I was already 2 days sleep deprived! Although I had hoped to avoid an IV, epidural, etc. I knew I needed help in order to make it through delivery. Amazing how quickly a "birth plan" becomes a flexible idea. I ended up with an epidural due to how long I had already been working through the contractions. Honestly, in the middle of labor, I wondered how on earth women make it through med-free deliveries. My hat is 100% off to those who can do it. I learned that I am not one of those women. I mean, I had an epidural and I still felt as though I was never going to make it.
Labor took a long time, and I pushed for almost 3 hours, but LF arrived at 1:29 PM on Christmas Day. He was a hefty 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and 20 inches long. The OB who delivered me was amazing (I like him better than my actual OB!) as were the nurses. He really helped me avoid bad tearing. In the end, only a one degree tear and some minor other ones. Physically, I'm feeling pretty good, other than serious swelling in my feet and legs and some tenderness in the nether regions.
In the hospital, all was well with breastfeeding. But, since coming home, we have had a lot of problems with nursing that made caring for LF really stressful. We aren't 100% sure why, but my milk still has not really come in (10 days later) and my little man quickly let us know that colostrum was NOT going to be enough by about day 3 and a half. He was really frantically hungry and unable to be consoled. We really struggled with what to do, but he lost more than 10% of his body weight and were advised to begin supplementing with formula. For those who instantly are about to criticize our choice, you should have been in our apartment the first three days. He would scream frantically every half hour, despite being nursed as often as he demanded. It was heartbreaking and I began to have a really serious issue with my anxiety. No one could function and even KG started to hit his breaking point.
Now, with nursing, pumping (achingly small amounts) and formula, LF is gaining weight and is MUCH more happy and calm. The last couple of days have been much better. The milk issue is a major disappointment for me and the theories are: PCOS rearing its ugly head, anxiety, some medication I take, and lack of sleep. I'm still hoping at some point this will happen. But, I'm also coming to terms with letting go of control and understanding this may be a formula fed baby, despite our efforts. It's just frustrating - first with infertility (failure of my ovaries) followed by failure of my boobs.
What's been even more challenging is the adjustment to being a parent. We are totally in love with our baby, but really, no one can prepare you for the changes that come with bringing a newborn home. It's like there is no normal right now, and everything we took for granted (showers, eating and sleeping at the same time as KG, making phone calls, etc.) are all actual goals for the day. I'm not saying I resent any of this. We are exceptionally lucky to be where we are. But, I have found it difficult in these first days to be the glowing picture of motherhood you see on TV. Instead, I relish in the moments when I change out of pjs and into actual clothes for the day.
KG is really good at seeing the big picture: the newborn days are limited. There will be smiles, giggles, fun activities, and much more interaction as LF grows. But, I get a little caught up in the hour-to-hour exhaustion of right now. KG has always been an amazing partner, but he has also quickly turned into an AMAZING father. He has been there for both of us every single second, without fail. He never ceases to amaze me.
I have several posts in mind, including one about the future of this blog, in the works. But, forgive me as I stumble around for a while.
Edited to add: MissConception's post about post partum says a lot of things I feel much more eloquently than I can right now. It's amazing and real.