Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weaning Off Breastmilk

I know, from that title you can tell this is going to be a fascinating post!

Well it's like the biggest thing going on in my life right now, so just bear with me.  Claire had developed a strong aversion to formula.  Even though it was the first food she ever had (in the NICU) she had been an exclusively breastfed baby for a month, and anytime we tried the formula again she would either push it away crying or eat it then promptly throw it up.

Well I couldn't have that since I'm going back to work soon and my little eater wasn't satisfied with what I managed to pump.  So I began mixing my pumped milk with formula during the day and continued nursing her at night.  That seemed to be working well for her but I know when I go back to work I can't wake up to nurse her so many times through the night.

I finally worked up to full bottles of formula during the day so I asked my OB how to successfully go about finally making the full switch.  His answer was cold turkey.  It wasn't what I wanted to hear but hey, he's the doctor.  So I did it, stopped pumping and nursing for a full evening and through the night.  Then I woke up with a fever and breasts so engorged that the pain was unbearable.  I had to fill an old prescription for Ibuprophin just to get out of bed!

Apparently that's normal.

That night, Claire slept for an almost 5 hour stretch and my sleep was glorious.  I even woke up to feed her before she did.

Do I miss nursing her?  Hell yeah.  But I miss everything about my tiny baby.

Look at the little head
Now she's like a regular-sized baby.  She does so much more and is so much more engaging, so I still love feeding her.  It's just...different.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Running Buddy

Claire is seven weeks old, and she's become so much fun.  It used to be that I loved spending time with her because she is my daughter and I love her.  But now I love hanging out with her because she's more of a person and I like her.  She's cute, sure, but she's also alert and smiley and a really good baby.  This morning she woke up and didn't cry.  (I know because I was creepily watching her sleep.)

At 7 weeks post-partum, I was finally ready to get out there and get some excercise.  So I strapped Claire into her carseat and jogging stroller and took off.  It was her first adventure outside for so long and she was a bit confused.  Every time a breeze would blow us, she would blink her eyes and concentrate really hard.  The little bumps startled her and she didn't take her eyes off me the whole 3 mile trek.  I even stopped at the gas station for a coffee and she was a good sport.  I definitely think she may be interested in running already.

And it was totally overcast today, in case anyone feels like calling CPS on me for taking my newborn out in the Vegas sun.  And I kept her covered at all times - except for these pictures of course. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ready to Run

I had my 6 week post-partum doctor's appointment this week and my first question for the doc was, "Can I go back to running?"  I'm not bleeding anymore, my stitches feel great (although I haven't looked), and I'm starting to introduce Claire to formula so I can spend more time away even if she gets hungry.  So of course he said yes.

Eek, and now I'm scared.  It's stupid because even though I'm so pumped to get back out there, I'm terrified of not being able to do it.

And even though I'm back to my pre-partum weight, my body is completely different.  Sometimes I think it's amazing and sometimes I hate it.  In any case, I'm ready to get some muscle back into my body and tighten things up a bit.  And just have that time to feel like myself again.

Ok so I look alright in clothes because I have these boobs and I'm pretty rail-thin, but then I have this weird pooch of a stomach.  Dale said I have the same stomach as my cousin Jen, who is also 5 months pregnant.  I don't think that's a compliment to me!  I think he just remembers the flat stomach I used to have, which I wonder if I'll see again.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Getting the Hang of Things

So it's been 6 weeks since we've had Claire in our lives. 

Sometimes I still have to think about her name before I say it.  I call her Gigi and Dale calls her Fiori on a regular basis.  Sometimes she looks at me like she recognizes me from somewhere but she's not sure where yet.  It's like we're seven strangers picked to live in a house, wait that isn't it.  But we are still new to each other.

But sometimes she cries and nothing/nobody can soothe her, then I take her into my arms and she stops immediately because all she wanted was her mummy.

And sometimes, she looks up at me and smiles for no reason.  A big ol gummy grin.

Toothless Joe Jackson
As I'm getting more comfortable with Claire, I'm also learning that "maternal instincts" are a very real and surreal thing.  I know what her cries mean.  I know what she wants.  And I know how she likes to be held.

Tree Hugger
But as much as she knows and loves her mummy's touch, nothing is sweeter than the way she looks up at her dad.  The guy who screams at the tv when he's holding her, sings sweet lullabys like Wannabe by the Spice Girls, and who never fails to knock her carseat against something when he's transporting her from place to place.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rash Decisions

Claire has a "skin condition" on her face.  It's been coming on for a while now but I was under the impression it was newborn rash (which is completely normal) until today when I busted her crying and trying to scratch her face off.

Nothing is sadder than knowing your infant hurts and you can't do anything to stop it.

My poor little helpless baby
Well I took her to the pediatrician and was told it was from her cradle cap, and to just keep her moisturized well.  So I put her baby lotion in the fridge and anytime I notice she is irritated, I put a dab on her cheeks.  I had been putting her in mittens to prevent scratching, but she still just rubs her face so this morning she woke up looking like she'd been in a bar fight.  My dad calls her the white Mike Tyson.

Claire's baby straight jacket

Laughing through the pain

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mom Jeans

I gained 30 pounds in my pregnancy.  Exactly one month ago, I came home from the hospital weighing 155 pounds - the same as when I went in to deliver my baby. 

Today I weigh 125!  I'm back to my regular weight, just a month later.

My whole body is different though.  As my husband calls it, I'm skinny fat.  My arms are flabby and I have extra tummy.  My legs are soft.  And I have massive boobs. 

I'm not wearing mom jeans quite yet, but I am considering a more "manageable" hairstyle.  Just kidding.  Kinda.  Although I can totally understand the "mom cut" concept since Claire likes to eat my hair when I'm holding her.

Speaking of Claire eating, she eats a lot.  Like constantly.  I'm trying to force some formula on her so that her dad can give her more feedings since I can't even pump enough breastmilk for one session with her.  Last night Dale gave her a bottle of formula after I went to bed, and she was fine (although I can totally tell she doesn't like the taste).  He got brave and went for second round but shortly after, she threw it all up.  All over the place!  It was awesome.  So at 4am, after I'd had a blissful 6 hours of sleep (first time I slept uninterrupted for so long since the hospital) we gave the baby a bath, put her in her pajamas, and we all slept for another 3 hours.

Monday, September 3, 2012

One Month

Claire is a whole month old!  And she smiles.

And she's such a good baby, so easy to have around. 

Sometimes, in the middle of the night when she's nursing, and I'm barely awake, I look down at her little face, chipmunk cheeks chomping away, sweaty hair matted to her head, and I think about how lucky I am to have her.  How her little body is so dependent on me to feed her, keep her clean and warm, keep her feeling loved.  And how much I adore every second of our life together.

I'm like the bizarro world version of my former self. 
(Yes, I know I just referenced DC Comics.)

The former self who would spend her last $5 on a tallcan then just stay home because my car had no gas.  The former self who would go from clubbing on a Saturday night, straight to Mass amidst the disapproving looks from my parents.  The former self who didn't want kids.  I laugh at that fool!

Do I miss those days?  Hell yeah.  But I had many of years of enjoying that carefree lifestyle which means no regrets.

I had previously worried that I couldn't do this.  That I would never recover, that I would never get my body back, that I would never run like I used to.  And now I feel like I can be myself, just kind of a better version.