Knish joined us at 9 lbs 11 oz (at least a pound larger than the OB was estimating while I was in labor) and 21.5 inches long (this is about what Hubs and I were expecting - lots of long babes in our families). Complete with a full head of hair (that shocked us both!). She is beautiful, and we are learning about each other.
I sit and write as Hubs is taking the evening shift on a particularly rough day. She and I have both cried our fair share today. We are both clean, fed, and napped, so we're quite sure what all the angst is about. But until today, she was making this whole thing a big easy on me. She latches easily and nurses efficiently. She's an excellent napper. And (at least until today) she wasn't a big yeller - she would patiently fuss until she was fed. Nighttime is a struggle (as with any newborn) - and we bounce between nights where she's up every 1.5 hr to 4 hrs.
I thought I'd share some of my favorite things over the last two weeks that have helped me. And surprisingly enough, none of them is coffee (after 9 months off the juice, it really disrupts my nap time!).
(1) Maternity Leggings
I have not packed these babies up yet. For those who have never had kids, you may be surprised to learn that most women do not leave the hospital being able to fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes (this was a big shock to me). And while I am only 11 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight, I have not ventured into any of my pre-pregnancy clothing. For starters - I have all these great, comfy maternity clothes I can still fit. I have two pair of the Target black maternity leggings and I love them. Every day, I hop into those, a nursing cami, and a sweater. I'm dressed for the day! If I need to leave the apartment, I just through on some boots (which thankfully fit again), and I look "put together" (I was actually told that. What? Weird.
(2) Lansinoh Lanolin and Nipple Pads
I love this stuff. Someone on my mommy board mentioned that you can start putting the Lanolin on nightly about 3-4 weeks before your due date, which will help with the suppleness of your skin and help prevent cracking/bleeding as your wee one and you learn breastfeeding. Well I did that and I have to say that I have not had any bleeding, and I only had one sore that healed quickly. This stuff is amazing. I don't quite make it on every day anymore, but I try to before bed most nights.
This brand of pads is great. They stick on and last the better part of a day. I haven't tried many other brands, but I like these better than the Medela ones that came with my pump.
Without going into too much detail, I think we can all safely agree that pushing a watermelon out of one's vajay is not a delicate process. Yadda yadda yadda, sore. Yadda yadda - numb it up with this. I read about it first on Pinterest, and was pleased to see it in my recovery room at the hospital. My lovely nurse even threw in an extra can (seriously - ask for everything!). I didn't need two cans (only needed it for about a week), but I'm going to hang onto this for general first aid purposes.
(4) Lactation Cookies
By putting the word "lactation" in front of cookie, it magically becomes a health food. True story. Okay, but seriously. Breastfeeding burns an insane amount of calories (300-500 calories per day), and it's hard enough to eat the normal calorie limit with a bouncing newborn, let alone enough to keep up your milk supply. Enter cookies. What makes these special are these three ingredients: (i) oatmeal (fiber!), (ii) Brewer's Yeast (milk production), and (iii) Flax (healthy omegas). I made this recipe that I found on Pinterest, which also includes coconut oil (cure all!) and chocolate (...hurray!). I made a batch and froze the whole thing in pre-formed scoops. Every couple of days I throw a few directly from the freezer into the oven. I found that I didn't even need to adjust the baking time. While the additions can make these a sort of supplement, I can say that in my experience, I have actually felt my milk let down after
A few final thoughts...
I have not wanted to pound back a beer nearly as much as I thought.
I am less interested in caffeine now than in my 9th month (probably because I know I can nap).
Having a supportive and patient partner has made all the difference in this experience. He doesn't feel that just because he's out of the house at work all day, his "fair share" is done, just like he knows I don't "sit around" all day while she naps. Parenthood is hard - whether you're doing if for a few hours per day, or full time. I wish more partners could share in the empathy - but I am so thankful that Hubs sees his time at work as "missing out" on parenthood, rather than any part of "sharing" duties. Tonight, after knowing I had a rough day being yelled at by my tiny boss, he couldn't wait to get changed and take over. They've had some great cuddle time, and I've been able to eat with two hands and get some thoughts out.