Sorry - this is a long babbling post.....
Well tomorrow is Bailey's 1 week birthday (hahaha) and our week has gone quite well. DH has been off work since she was born and returns to work on Friday - so 4 more days before I am more or less on my own. (DH works 12 hours shifts - days and nights so is basically not around to help for 5 days). My parents were here visiting and helping with DS (age 2) and now my MIL and her bf are here helping with DS. But it will be nice to have a few days with just the four of us figuring out our new life together.
DD has been an easier baby than DS - DS was more demanding as I recall. She is mostly feeding every 2.5-3 hours - often less frequent in the day with longer sleeps where I sometimes have to wake her up to feed (our weather has been super hot recently) and more frequent at night with shorter sleeps. She has had some awake time during the day but spends a lot of time sleeping (again - could be the hot weather also).
BF'ing is going well. My milk came in quickly and she is a reasonably good feeder. She sometimes latches, unlatches, and re-latches multiple times (where DS was very food focused and would latch and pig out). She also lets go when she is full (where DS would have to be removed eventually). The latching still hurts like crazy - I have blisters at the end of my nipples and have a little bit of bleeding occassionally during nursing. On a scale of 1-10 (where 10 would be me unable to continue nursing due to pain) I think we are around a 7'ish. I have considered taking Tylenol to see if that would help but have not yet. I had this same problem last time - it got better every week but there was some level of discomfort until about 12 weeks last time. (And part of it is hormonal also - when I got pregnant with DD I was still nursing DS once pre-bed and instantly my nipples got sore). I am also experiencing "empty pains" which is mild discomfort when DD has seemingly drained a breast of milk - kind of a dull ache. Forgot about those. All that said, I have the lucky situation of a very healthy milk supply. My milk came in a little bit less insanely than with DS (with DS I had rock-hard boobs that saturated face clothes that were stuffed in my shirt b/c the nursing pads were not coming close to containing the milk) which was nice. But I still have a lot of milk - pumping the excess off will apparently tell your body to keep producing that much so I am patiently waiting for things to even out. With DS I bought a milkie (link below) and I am using it now and it is catching up to 3oz in a feeding! (I am using it about 4 times a day only when I think there will be extra milk. I use it on the side that fed last while feeding on the other side). So I have 4 bags of milk in the freezer already - with no pumping! When I saw the milkie in the store with DS I thought it was some ridiculous hippie creation - who would really want to catch every last drop of their milk that badly!? Well in my case it has been "free" milk that would have otherwise gone into a nursing pad that is now ready for an emergency bottle when we get to that stage. My biggest problem with the milkie is a) forgetting I have it in and then leaning over and spilling all the milk or b) having too much milk in it that it starts to leak.
Happy Moms . Healthy Babies | Milkies
DS has adjusted very well to DD. He is very interested in DD nursing but also likes gently touching her, goodnight kisses, and cuddling face to face with her. He has said and done some of the cutest things while I have been feeding her like:
- DS "Oh no - Bailey biting mommy" to which we explained what was happening and now instead says "Bailey drinking mommy milk".
- DS sat beside me and lifted up his shirt and said "Bailey bite Baby?" (he calls himself baby).
- DS sat beside me as I was getting ready to feed and helpfully was leaning over and pulling at my shirt and then tank top to tell me they needed to come off to feed. Then he watched with fascination as she latched on.
Recovery-wise I am recovering much better than last time. Last time I had problems with stitches (none this time - yay) and fissures. So keeping an eye on things and chugging back psyllium! I have to limit myself each day or else the temptation is to do too much!
I had my first solo trip to the grocery store the other night after DD was fed - it was nice! DH also had a trip with DD to the local coffee shop after I had fed her and I had alone time with DS. We all enjoyed that.
I definitely thought I would be wanting to find a way to have alone time with DD (the new baby) but I can see now that I may actually more want to focus on alone time with DS (age 2). My parents were great at giving him lots of attention but I definitely notice that people who come are here to see the baby and not him. My MIL and her bf normally give DS his bath when they visit - but this time they wanted instead to hang out outside holding DD. So I feel back for DS for a couple of reasons - a lot of the attention from others is on DD and not him, he is suddenly having to learn a lot about patience and waiting his turn (and that is going to increase a lot when DH returns to work and I am on my own) and DS suddenly seems to big that it will be hard for DH and I to remember that he is 2 and 2 is very young. (Tonight DH was about to get annoyed with DS who was being fussy about where he wanted to sit to eat dinner (so hot we were eating outside which is not our usual eating place) and I had to remind DH that we were well over 1.5 hours past DS's normal eating time and that he was likely very hungry and hot and tired). Anyway - I feel like I want to give some extra time to DS.
I definitely find I am having urges to be a cranky b--ch to DH. I know it is partly that I am not communicating clearly to him (for example - with 2 house guests tonight and being the only one who gets up 4-6 times at night to nurse I was the last one in the bathroom and to bed because everyone else just went in!). So I have to work on that. He sort of is damned-if-he-does and damned-if-he-doesn't. So I will have to realize what I want him to do and do a better job communicating that to him and hopefully we can be a team on this. Last time DS was about 1.5 years old and we had a big fight where I said I really felt that we were co-habiting but not a team or partnership. Sigh.
DD and I have a maternity doc appt on Tuesday for blood pressure check and baby weigh-in etc. Nothing too exciting expected there. On the possibly shi--y side of news I visited my family doctor last week when DD was 3 days old and now am waiting on a rapid access appointment referal to the Breast Clinic at our local hospital. I had found a small lump under my arm about 2 months ago (I could normally find it in the shower when scrubbing my pits and initially thought it was an ingrown hair) and a couple times I intended to have my maternity look at it but when I was there and had my clothes on I could never find it so I never brought it up. Well my first day home from hospital (DD born Mon / I came home Wed) I took a shower and found the lump and it has grown by 10-20 times in size in days. (In the hospital I showered each day also and never noticed it change size). So yes this could be a cyst and could be a non issue but if I think about this at all I am reduced to a crying mess. I should hear back within 1-2 weeks with an appointment which is good. The waiting sucks but at the same time I am dreading the appointment. What if? My fears would be much different if I didn't have the kids. I would still have fears - don't get me wrong. So wish me luck as I wait for my appointment. They will likely start with an ultrasound and then possibly a needle biopsy. Luckily we have no family history of breast cancer. But my mom (a nurse) felt it and was insistent that I get it checked immediately. The doctor says it is on the very outer edge of my breast tissue. This definitely making me think about what I put priority on, how I spend my time (quality time with kids vs trying to get tasks done), what kind of a person I have been / am, as well as all the what-if's. Mostly I am just blocking it out of my mind entirely (or trying to at least). No sense losing sleep and fretting over something that we don't yet know anything about - it could be nothing or.....
Hope everyone is doing well and look forward to hearing more birth stories and how everyone adjusts to life with babies!