Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Things that bother parents but not babies:
Spit up
Dry skin
Head flopping down in the car seat

Ways babies are like Roman Emperors:
Wake up to a boob in their mouth
Have people dress them
Have people bathe them
Eat until they are so full it comes back up
Pee and poop whenever and where ever they want
People attend to every whim

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Now that I'm finally feeling better (unfortunately Kirk is still stuck in the snot factory phase of the cold) I need to start eating better and getting more exercise. I know the average for loosing baby weight is one year but it won't happen if I don't help. Ever since I had him all I've been craving is meat and dairy products. The fattier and greasier the better. I'm not a fast food person and yet I want cheeseburgers all the time. I am a fruit and vegetable person and I can barely remember to eat any, much less 5 a day. I'm sure it has to do with milk production, and I'm certainly using more calories producing, but I can't use that excuse for much longer.

Kirk continues to be a crappy nurser. He still won't latch on without the shield. In fact, in some ways, I think he's getting worse. If he's extra hungry he won't latch on even with the shield. Instead he'll shriek like I'm hurting him. I have to give him a couple of ounces from a bottle first. Maybe it would have been different if he hadn't been so small and early. He lost weight when I tried doing mostly exclusive nursing and we've been supplementing with bottles ever since. I can see it more rationally now that my brain has calmed down from the post partum craziness. I know that it'll be easier on all of us if I quit with the boobies. And I don't really want to have to try to juggle pumping at work when I go back. Mr. b and several friends have all said that they would have given up long ago if it had been them. I just honestly like nursing, dammit!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

It seemed to me like it would be a good idea to draw up a hot bath and hold the baby in there with me. Get the bathroom all steamed up so some of his congestion would loosen. Mr. b jumped on the plan. He has had bad asthma since he was very young and said that his parents used to do that with him all the time. I started with a hot shower to steam up the bathroom. Then I held the naked little man while his daddy blocked the stream with his body. Then I started filling up the tub, sat down in it and gently floated the good baby in the warm water. He was totally fine with all this. It was one of the neatest family activities yet. And now he's sneezing so the steam must have helped at least a little bit.

I would never presume to ask people that don't have kids when they're going to start trying. That's offensive and I hated it when people did that to me. But I do get extremely excited now when I find out that friends are going off the pill. This is just such an amazing thing that I want everyone to have the priveledge of experiencing the incredible, primal love of being a parent. It really is awesome.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Man. Getting sick when you have an infant really sucks ass. Besides being pretty much incapable of avoiding sharing your germs, you're getting up every few hours for feedings so you never get enough sleep to speed your own recovery. I feel so bad when I have to blow my nose one handed while holding him in place at my boob with the other hand. But that's better than dripping snot on his head. And the poor little man is so confused; Mommy doesn't sound right with this Kathleen Turner voice.

He's doing fine with his version of the cold. He's not sick enough for me to call the doctor (no fever) but I feel bad for him. I think he's swallowing most of his phelgm and so his last poo was all green and farm smelly. I keep jamming the aspirator in his mouth to try to suck out his snot but it's mostly too far down his throat. At least he's still eating good.

His typical feeding routine is to do at least 10 minutes on a boob. Then I'll change his pants to wake him back up for Boob Two. After that, he'll usually eat another 4 ounces from a bottle. I typically give him 2 of pumped milk and then 2 of formula. This whole round takes an hour or an hour and a half, depending on how good he nurses. In the hospital we had work so hard just to force 30cc down his throat at a time. He's definitely growing. I've had to pull out some onesies that are now too small. Of course they're all the newborn and premie sizes but it's still nice to have proof of his increasing size since we haven't been doing weight checks anymore.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I have to give a great big shout out to the lovely and talented, and soon to be rich and famous, Diablo Cody for taking me out for a mani-pedi today. Thanks dollface! Every new mother should be so lucky. It was so relaxing.

I've been getting tense in my shoulders and neck and I think it's from sitting crooked while nursing. I need to sit with my hips square and level.

Last night Mr. b and I went to the drive-in with the little man and it was the perfect way to see a movie with a baby. It also gave us a couple more good Firsts: nursing in the car and Mr. b changing a diaper in his lap. We've been collecting Firsts like diaper change on the scuzzy table in a public restroom, bottle feeding in a restaurant, hotel stay, trip out of state. Of course I was previously counting Firsts like shower while Kirk is awake in his bassinet outside the bathroom. And unfortunately, I think that we have First Cold going on now. If Mommy gets a sore throat, there's pretty much no way that Baby can avoid it.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I often wonder how my sister manages to raise 2 girls by herself. It's frickin' hard! Then again, if you're on your own, you know that you don't have anyone else to count on. I think it would be harder if your mate was all 50s and didn't help out at all. Then there would be someone around that *could* give you a break, but doesn't. I know it was much more difficult for me last week when for several nights in a row, I had the baby all night without any assistance from Mr. b for various reasons. When he's been gone, then I know I'm on my own and I can get in the right mindset. Somehow I just call up the strength to care for the little man and the serenity to do it with a smile.

At least on one of those days last week we finally had post partum sex. We both wanted to wait until the All Clear from Doc because of the episiotomy. And I wanted to get started on my no-siblings-for-Kirk pills. I even bought my first ever bottle of vag lube. But then it was all Mr. b. He was still squicked out from watching me give birth and get cut. We both thought it felt different than before. But now the seal is broken. We'll get better.

Good kitty
"I sleep in a drawer!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

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This is my new favorite picture. It perfectly captures how much I love being Kirk's mom.

Talking with my sister last week, I think I figured out why breast feeding is so important to me. As she put it, it's the only thing that only I can do for my child. Other people can give him a bottle, or change his diaper, or bathe him, change his outfit, play with him. Only I can feed him directly from my own body, food that I make specifically for him. And it's time I can spend with him that no one can take away.

That's why I've come to enjoy mornings with him so much as well. We've fallen into a bit of a schedule that won't work at all when I go back to work but for now, it's great. Typically, Mr. b will stay up with the little man until somewhere between 1 and 4 in the morning, sleeping if the baby lets him, depending on when he has to go to work. Then I get the next shift. Kirk will do another chunk of sleeping at around 7 or 8 in the morning and I just bring him in to bed with me then. We can get another couple of cuddly hours of shut eye that way.

I was very against the idea of the family bed. But now I think it may be more difficult for me than for the baby when we start putting him down in his crib instead of the bassinet. And I will greatly miss my mornings with him when my leave is done.

Monday, August 15, 2005

While I was pregnant, I longed to sleep on my back or stomach. Obviously, that was forbidden or unobtainable. I've quite enjoyed being able to lay flat on my back again. But even though I was previously a stomach sleeper, it's just not satisfying to me anymore. At first, it felt weird because my abdominal muscles were still all pushed off to the sides. Now, it's just plain uncomfortable because of the fullness in my tits.

There's a marked difference in the consistency of baby poop depending on if it's breast milk or formula. Breast milk poo is runny with little seeds in it. Formula poo is more like creamy peanut butter. And yes, it's smelly even though I'm his mommy. It just doesn't bother me.

This little man has had a couple of spectacular spit ups. At first I was winning. I was trying Kirk out on naked nipple after he acted like he wanted more even though he had just finished eating on that side through the shield. He opened his mouth and out it came, all over my nipple and boob. It was quite warm. But Mr. b has that topped. And not just because he seems to be the one that gets spit up all over his shirts. He was playing with Kirk while laying down and held him up with his arms stretched straight up. Kirk spit up not just on his daddy's face. He got some in his mouth!! Hi-larious. And of course as I'm typing about spit up he just did some in his bassinet.

Car seat

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I give up. Every time I think that Kirk's making improvments in eating or sleeping they don't stick. He still won't suckle without the shield. If I even try to give him a naked nipple he'll just shake his head frantically. And the whole sleeping when it's dark thing was a fluke, too. Last night he decided to stay awake until 1am. He's sleeping now of course. I just don't know what to do. Sure, he's sleeping for longer chunks, but it's in the morning. He wants to eat every couple of hours during the night so it doesn't really matter that he goes back to sleep. I have no idea how I'll be able to go back to work if this keeps up.

And we still haven't mastered feeding our own damn selves. As Shogunmoon mentioned, we need people to cook for us. We're also still relying heavily on restaurants, fast food, and people bringing us food. Sure, I can cook if Mr. b is around to watch the baby. But right now I just had a burnt grilled cheese sandwich because I wasn't able to give it my full attention.

At least I was able to bring Kirk in to work yesterday for the obligatory meet-the-coworkers visit. That was really weighing heavily on me.

Monday, August 08, 2005

My MIL was staying with us since Friday. She was such an incredible help. Kirk happened to be going through a growth spurt/developmental leap and was eating every 2 hours since early Friday morning. (He had a weight check before she arrived and was up to 6# 14.5 oz--I guarantee he's well beyond 7 now.) It's very frustrating to be feeding him that often. I think using the shield has helped to prevent extreme nipple soreness, but it had definitely caught up with me by Saturday night.

I was a wreck. I find that I now only become a big crying mess when I'm over-tired. I had been up with Kirk all night, feeding him constantly, and I hadn't gotten a nap in during the day because we went to see Dukes of Hazzard, which ruled. MIL was already planning on taking the baby all night so we could go to our friend's birthday party. Mr. b thought I should stay home and just sleep. But I needed to see people. Desperately. And spending a couple hours with friends, going home and going straight to bed (after pumping of course), and getting a real live full night's sleep was amazing. My body didn't know how to react to that much rest! I told her it was the best present she could have given me.

And then Kirk started sleeping at night. Sure, he still gets up to eat several times, but he goes back to sleep. That makes all the difference in the world. He's going slightly longer between meals now, too, closer to 4 hours at a time. His eyes are focusing better and getting lighter than that dark infant color. You can just tell there's been leap. I'm so glad that MIL was able to be here to witness it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Last night was another bad one. Kirk likes being awake from about 2am until about 5am no matter what we try. And we've tried it all by now. I made the mistake of staying up until about midnight so that meant I was operating on 2 hours of sleep. Letting him fuss by himself in his bassinet didn't work. Nursing him repeatedly put him to sleep but he wouldn't stay that way. Cuddling him didn't trick him into sleeping either. And all this was in the dark as I'm trying to convince him that dark=sleepy time. By 6am I was insane. I was literally crying like a baby. Completely inconsolable. I just wanted someone to comfort me, hold me. Mr. b packed up the baby and left me to cry myself to sleep. I felt much better, but starving and with a crying hangover, when I got up about noon.

The upside of such a terrible night is that I was frustrated with the constant nursing and I tried my bare nipple. Kirk latched on and suckled without the shield! Since then I've offered him no-shield each feeding and he'll take it about half the time. It's a good thing, too, because I've begun to worry about my milk supply. I haven't been as diligent with kangaroo time as I should have been and my boobs don't feel nearly as full as they used to. I'm getting less when I pump after each feeding, too. Maybe that's just because he's draining me more completely.

I've resigned myself to the fact that I probably won't produce enough to keep breastfeeding for much longer. I'm pretty sure I'll have to give up when I go back to work. I mean, for as long as possible I'll try to nurse him when I come home but I just have a feeling my supply will not keep up with his demand. I guess 3 months is better than nothing.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

It's official: I am both a nerd and a new mom. I just cried over Data's daughter dying. "Thank you for my life."

I think that Tron's soul got a do-over. That's why Kirk came early and is small. He's just continuing the Policy of Tiny-ness.

Monday, August 01, 2005

I was thinking that I was done with the baby blues. I hadn't cried for absolutely no reason in quite some time. Sure, I still tear up at heartwarming and heartbreaking stories. But I think that has more to do with being related to my overly sentimental dad.

Then today after my post partum doctor's visit, Kirk had a weight check. He's lost an ounce. What?! He eats constantly. Sure, he's begun doing this new thing where he'll get all frantic when first put up to the boob. But after he crabs for a few minutes, he'll latch on and begin nursing. I know he's getting food because he's gone to the opposite extreme and is now pooping almost every diaper change. Doc was totally unconcerned, said to try to "top him off" with a bottle after each feeding, and bring him in for another weight check on Friday.

So I went home and told Mr. b the news. He freaked out. And I started crying. I felt like it was my fault. Like I was somehow doing something wrong and that's why he hasn't gained any weight. Like if I changed something or was better in some way there wouldn't be a problem and he'd be packing it on and we wouldn't have to worry.

And now we're blasting through all the milk I had in the fridge and will probably go back to supplementing with formula since I can't pump constantly. There go my plans to start freezing it.

The Kirk Shelf
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