I’ve had my eye on this milestone for a long time – six weeks! Everything that I’ve heard / read has said that six weeks is a huge leap forward for new families in terms of confidence, baby’s development, and just overall functionality….and indeed “they” were right (whoever “they” are anyways).
When I look back at some of those really early weeks, I can really see the difference in Matt and I as parents; we’re starting to get our feet under us somewhat, and it feels really good! We’re by no means “in control” of this circus (will we ever be again for the rest of our lives? lol), but we’re not feeling quite as overwhelmed as we were early on. HALLELUJAH.
We had our very last midwife appointment back at the start of our 6th week (whaaaaaat?), and little man tipped the scales at 10 pounds 13 ounces! Woo! His growth has been on track and I’m so thankful that he is gaining weight well despite some challenges….
Week five was a really tough one for us – especially early on. We had some major setbacks with breastfeeding that pushed me right to the brink of my sanity. Breastfeeding is such a drain on my emotions, it’s crazy. More than anything I want to give Austin the best possible nutrition, and I really love our snuggly time together, but every single day I think about giving up on the gong show that is breastfeeding because of how hard it (still) is. Literally the only thing stopping me from saying “F it” once and for all is how much I love my little muffin, and how much I want to do the best possible thing for him.
For a big part of week five, Austin went on a bit of a nursing strike where he wouldn’t latch on at all, and when he did, he would scream his head off after about 5 seconds to the point that he couldn’t breathe. This went on every single feed for about 3 days, and it was just traumatic for both of us. Nothing worked – probiotics, gripe water, different positions, pumping before feeding…..we went down every avenue we could possibly come up with. We survived those few days with pretty much exclusive bottle feeding, but he really wasn’t keen to take the bottle either, it was a similar reaction to breastfeeding when we tried to get the bottle into his mouth.
Finally, after about 3 days (and more Google searches then I care to admit), in desperation, I cut dairy out of my diet just to see what would happen. Well lo and behold….after about a day, our feeding sessions started to improve! I’ve been doing my best to avoid dairy ever since, and we’re sort of back to a good place now, but he will still only feed for about 10 minutes maximum, and is really only interested in one side at a time. We’re still doing a bottle top-up after every feed to make sure that his weight gain is still on track (sometimes he takes it, sometimes he doesn’t), and I’m hoping that consistently working at it every feed will result in us getting better and better, and hopefully eventually eliminate the need for the bottle. And if it doesn’t – then oh well. My immediate goal with breastfeeding is to get Austin at least to his two month shots (scheduled for December 15th!), and then we’ll re-evaluate from there. Next goal will be six months, and again, we’ll re-evaluate. We had a positive visit to the breastfeeding clinic during week six, and that gave me some reassurance that Austin is actually pretty efficient at getting milk from me (little man pulled 70 mL in 8 minutes and a total of 110mL in 12 minutes!), so I’m trying really hard to trust my body, and to trust him, and to keep pushing forward.
Our session at the breastfeeding clinic was actually pretty hysterical – call it my official initiation into parenthood! Austin and I had been feeding for a while, and he had started fussing, so I stood up with him and started walking around the room with him to calm him down. He was wearing only his diaper, and I was only wearing my nursing bra.
Can ya see where this is going?
As we were pacing around, he let out this HUGE, massive fart that I knew would have filled his diaper. I right away started cooing about how “that must have felt good!”, and “good job pooping”! I wasn’t allowed to change his diaper until we took his weight so that we could get an accurate read of how much milk he had taken from me during our session. The lactation consultant came back into the room a few minutes later with the scale to check his weight, and I put him down on the scale……….
Annnnnd realized that the entire lower part of my torso was COVERED (no like…..COVERED, you couldn’t see my skin colour) in poop! He had had a stage 5 poop explosion, and it was ALL OVER him, and me too! OMG. The little turkey was all smiles and giggles after that, he seemed quite proud of himself! I wished Matt had been there; he would have just died laughing!
Some of Austin’s nicknames are starting to phase out, and some new ones are on the way in! “Flower” is still going strong, as is “NAKEDBABY!” (said altogether in an ultra-excited, high pitched voice). Matt has now taken to calling me “NAKEDMOMMY!” in the same ultra-excited high pitched voice when we’re getting set to feed LOL…oh the things that amuse us….
I’ve added “Wiggly-Bee” to the list of nicknames in rotation this past two weeks because he is just always in motion! He loves to kick his feet and we sometimes call him our little eel because he wriggles around so much when you’re holding him sometimes. You’ve got to keep a really good grip on him, or I swear he’ll get away!
It’s a work in progress folks, it truly is a work in progress. There’s been dramatic improvement in how I’m feeling now vs. 2+ weeks ago for sure, but I’m still not quite there. I can still feel a “pulling” or “stinging” sensation when I walk too much, or move in the wrong way and the incision area is also still quite tender to the touch. I’ve also got a few minor symptoms that are making me really nervous that more serious things could be wrong internally, but they are minor, and I’m trying really hard to not go looking for trouble. God help me to stay OFF the internet, I need to for my own sanity.
I’d be lieing if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed that we are past the 6 week mark now and I’m not 100% healed. I know that there’s no “6-week fairy godmother” that miraculously heals wounds at the 6 week mark, but ever since Austin’s birth, I’ve kind of had my eye on this week as THE week that things would be back to normal and this whole ordeal would be behind us, but that just isn’t the case. Not quite yet anyways 🙂
I’m still working hard on my recovery and doing everything I possibly can to promote healing. I had my first pelvic floor physiotherapy appointment on Thursday of week six and thought that it went pretty well. The therapist examined me externally and a little bit internally and was very positive and optimistic for a full and complete recovery (although it is still early to comment at this stage). She gave me some exercises to focus on relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, because she thinks that muscle tightness is a big source of some of the residual pain that I’m having. Both her and my family doctor have stressed to me that although six weeks is the “superficial”healing time frame, internal healing and return to completely normal muscle function will take longer. Apparently six weeks is still “very early” in the recovery process. Sigh.
One silver lining of this whole ordeal is that my injury has resulted in a new love for me…baths! I don’t think I had taken a bath in about 25 years until I was in labour, but ever since our nightmare delivery, it was highly recommended to me to take regular Epsom salt baths to help keep the incision area clean and to promote healing. I’ve been religious about it, and have soaked in an Epsom salt bath for just 5 – 10 minutes just about every day since Austin was born….and I’m hooked! Not only do the baths make my incision feel so much better, but now I’m starting to love them just as a chance to relax as well! I’ve started using these amazing Epsom / Lavender / Honey bath salts and ohhhhh baby I love them. I really look forward to a few minutes to soak in a day, and think that I’m officially a bath convert!
I’m reiterating my goal here to keep me honest and hold me to it: my goal is to begin light workouts in early December (after December 7th – I want to see my physiotherapist one more time before I begin working out), ramping up towards the end of the month and ultimately to teach the new releases coming out at the gym the third week of January. Both my physio and my family doctor have agreed that this seems realistic, as I’ll be well past the 3 month mark by that point. Time will tell.
I believe. I believe. Now accepting positive vibes, thoughts and prayers…lol
We are definitely making some progress on the sleep front! Over the past couple of weeks we’ve noticed a definite pattern in Austin’s sleep. He seems to be a bit more fussy in the later evening from about 8pm – 12am, but then goes down for a good stretch anywhere between 3.5 and 5 hours!! 5 hours!! That only happened once, but damn did it ever feel good lol….our days are sort of, kind of falling into a bit of a somewhat predictable routine, and it’s awesome.
Austin wakes up from his second sleep of the night sometime between 6am and 7am normally. We do our feed, and a bit of playing on his mat or his change table, he’s normally pretty alert and full of beans at this time! Sometime between 8 and 8:30am he goes back down to sleep for about another 2 hours, and then between 10am and 11am, we get up together “for the day”.
I’m kind of struggling a bit with how much time Austin needs to be awake in a day vs. sleeping. I sometimes feel like we’re always in such a hurry to get him back to sleep after a feed, and I don’t want to do that if my little monkey wants to be awake! He is becoming more and more fun every day, I love making him smile and can usually do this by “playing the bongos” on his belly, singing the itsy bitsy spider (complete with crawling hand motions up his belly) and poking him in the nose (LOL). He also loves when people make faces at him and quite often will try to mimic them back! Hanging out with Austin while he’s happy and giggly has to be one of my favourite things in the entire world; it truly makes all of the difficult parts of parenting worth it 1,000,000 times over.
This past weekend we dressed Austin up in a cute little outfit I bought him from H&M Baby and took him to a photo shoot session that I booked way back in the Summer to meet Santa!
I was super stressed about how he would do with the session, and he was a little sleepy because he had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the shoot, but I think we got a few good shots in there for sure! I just can’t wait to see the pictures! It’s so hard to believe that this is the last few days of November….time is flying, but standing still at the same time. I can’t believe how close we are to Christmas already. We’ve decided to get Austin’s high chair as a gift from Santa this year, so we went over to Babies ‘R Us and picked it up yesterday afternoon. I can’t imagine a time when he will be sitting at the table with us, but am so excited for that milestone! Speaking of milestones…
Although “official” tummy time is kind of a fail (he usually just lays there on his belly gurgling until he gets mad and then starts crying lol), he is holding up his head really well these days on our chest and looking side to side with pretty good control! We need to keep working at the tummy time for sure, it will be awesome when he’s able to hold his head up on his own!
The First Night
Oh boy…I feel guilty even writing this.
Weeks and weeks ago (before Austin was born), my mom and I had talked about going to Buffalo to do some Black Friday Christmas shopping in the States. We normally try to get over the border on Black Friday, if for nothing else, the tradition of going. I foolishly thought that by 6.5 weeks that things would be well under control and that it wouldn’t be a big deal for me to pop out for one night and come back mid-day the next day…
While things were in complete control with Matt, I balled like a baby and was thisclose to canceling the whole thing at 11pm as we were about to leave the house. I didn’t realize how much my heart would break leaving my Austin-Bee for even a short time…we haven’t spent a night apart from each other in over 11 months when you really think about it 😦
After some crying (me – not him lol), my mom and Matt convinced me that it would be good for me to get out of the house and take a bit of a break, so over the border we went. We were home by 4pm the next day, so really were only gone for about 15 hours, and surprise, surprise, everything was jut fine when I got home to my little muffin.
I did have to carry my breast pump around the mall in a backpack on my back, and pump in the bathroom of The Cheesecake Factory over lunch to try and keep my milk supply up though…LOL…oh my life….
All in all – it’s been a huge two weeks for us, and I’m so excited to keep rolling on this crazy train forward! I’ll do my best to update a little more frequently, as it’s easy to lose track of all the things that go on when I wait so long!
All the best to you and your families as we head into this crazy, but wonderful holiday season!