I didn't expect labor to be so hard, but then again, I wasn't expecting to endure back labor due to a sunny side up baby. So I tried to chalk that one up to bad luck. And being naive ;)
But what's really hard? Breastfeeding.
Call me crazy, but I had this slightly romantic notion in my head about what it would be like to nourish my baby. How empowering it must feel! Only I can give her what she truly needs! And our hospital is so very pro-bfing that formula isn't even mentioned or discussed (although I assume they will provide it). The first 6 months, no question. That's all I heard the 3 days in the hospital. And I didn't even care because I was planning on going until she weans, whether that be 9 months or 19.
But for something so natural--so innate--breastfeeding is hard.
And there are multiple things that are hard about it. At first, it's latch. Even before you realize it's bad, you have blisters and blood. Thankfully, they fade quickly. My very pro bfing hospital has amazing resources, and a quick visit from the head nurse took care of all that.
Then, it's waiting for the real milk to come in. Which, if you're like me, is a slow process. I got a little bit, just enough to keep her from screaming consistently, but not enough to give her more than 45 minutes of sleep at a time. And you feel like already you're failing at this incredible task of feeding your child. Then, BOOM it comes in and you can't get rid of it fast enough and you have at least 24 hours of engorgement. But, just like the other frustrations, that fades quickly too.
At nearly 2 weeks old, we have settled into a pretty good routine. Evelyn likes a variety of holds, has a great latch, and sucks like a champ. What she also does? Clamp down. I haven't yet figured out how to manage that one. Emailed the Lc today to get some tips. But overall, she eats well, she sleeps, and she has plenty of wet and poopy diapers.
So what remains hard? It's difficult to explain. While I have lived the romantic ideal that I originally anticipated--moments of gazing into my baby's eyes as she nurses and tightly grips my pinky finger--it's not always like that. Even when it's not difficult, there's something difficult in having a baby attached to you nearly half the day. You can't go to the bathroom when you want to (unless you want to listen to the screaming), you can't hand her off to your husband when you want to shower (you have to wait until she's asleep, which, granted, doesn't take forever, but still). My husband has gone to play basketball for 3 hours and down to the hot tub on his whimsy (only after asking of course). I can't even think about a pedicure yet because even if I feed her before I go, I would feel terrible for her and my husband if it wasn't enough and she spent the hour screaming. I don't want her to be hungry! It's also conflicting because I don't want to leave her. I want to feed her and I want her to know that I always will. But there's this tiny part of you that feels a little held back.
And saying all that makes one feel quite selfish. After all, my job, as they said at the hospital, for the next month is to love her and feed her. And I am doing that. But I am also a type A planner who gets bored with too much downtime. I love cleaning and I never thought I'd enjoy dusting as much as I did yesterday when I got 20 minutes to clean. It was fantastic. So while I am happy to do this for her, I tihnk I'm just a little...bored?
Two weeks in, this is just simple adjustment. I know that. But it's funny. People tell you before you bf that it will be so rewarding and so hard. You just don't really know what that means until you are living it. It's magical. And it's difficult. just like all things parenting.
General Evie updates:
We have started our CDs. She is indifferent to wet diapers so we have to keep an eye on them. She still hates being changed though.
Her cord is THISCLOSE to falling off. Probably by teh end of the week.
She has this hilarious "fall asleep" ritual that she goes through. I think she dreams of being fed. It starts with heavy panting breathing. Then there is a sleep smile. Then she smacks her lips and sucks and swallows and squeaks. Then she throws her arms and legs out. Rinse repeat a few times before she falls into deep sleep. she goes through the same ritual every night, swaddled or unswaddled. It's hilarious.
She officially needs a bib on to nurse because she is a messymilkface.
Her eyes remain blue for now!
She got to video chat with Nana and Papa on Monday!
She loves to stare at her kitty (he's black, good contrast).
She slept for 4 straight hours last night!!!
She's the cutest and most amazing baby ever in the whole world. Fact.