1/21: Thoughts from the week

I totally get why new moms cut off all their hair. It’s a luxury to get a shower, let alone style or dry anything. Twisty bangs + ponytail or messy bun for the win.

bangs

I wrote about our adventures in breastfeeding here, but just as we’re starting to get the hang of it, it’s also become even more difficult. She prefers my left side over the right, so I have to pump my right side after every feeding to keep supply up. She’ll only nurse on the right side for maybe 5 minutes, but will go all day on the left, and I have no idea how to get her to like the right side, which produces less. That’s also the side I had surgery on a few years ago…

The funny thing is that for a couple of days, I thought my right side wasn’t producing anything. I’d pump, and nothing would come out. Tom was watching me pump yesterday and said “How long have you been using that battery pack?”

“All week.”

“No wonder you’re not getting anything! Those batteries have to be dead by now… try the AC adapter”

And sure enough, I plugged the pump in and was pleasantly surprised by milk!!!

MY OTHER VIDEOS

Wow.

We’ve been tracking all of her feedings and diaper details since she was born,

baby stuff

and it’s funny how you can go 7 years without discussing body functions with your husband, and then be cheering for them together.

It really is possible to survive on no sleep. The first few days were an adrenaline rush and we were up all night as she cried and cried- now she’ll sleep for a couple of hours in between feedings. I used to NEED my 8 hours… I get maybe 4 or 5 broken hours of sleep and am doing ok. Everyone says to sleep when the baby sleeps, but I usually only have time to pump my right side, grab some food and then she’s ready to go again.

Bed rest is the worst thing ever. I hadn’t been doing any real activity –the midwives said if things look good at my 4 week checkup, I can resume normal activity again- just dishes and laundry around the house while the baby would snooze. We went on a couple of family walks (1-2 neighborhood streets down and back) and that’s about it. After cleaning up around the house on Tuesday, I was changing clothes and looked down to see I was standing in a small pool of blood. It scared the bejeezus out of me. After a call to the midwife, she said “you’re to be on the couch or in bed only. That’s it. Take the next few days and don’t do anything, except for cuddle and feed your baby.” I’ve loved all of the cuddling and feeding time, but as an antsy person who likes to be up and about, it’s been challenging for me.

Hormones do some crazy things after you have a baby. As blissfully happy as I am, I still cry everyday. I worry that I’m not doing a good job, it breaks my heart when she cries, and the fact that Tom goes back to work this week has been giving me a lot of anxiety. Tomorrow I’m going to do a practice run and see how I do by myself throughout the day and night.

Everyone says it’s normal to cry and to feel this way, but you’d think that hormones would protect you at a time like this. They should make you feel like a superhero so you can get through the really challenging time. Instead, they make you feel really fragile and emotionally sensitive. I’m excited to feel normal again.

I’m also excited for the day when she looks up at us and knows who we are and smiles. For now, I’m just the boob 😉

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135 Comments

  1. ash on January 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    your doing a great job Gina!!!

  2. Electra @ Vanilla Bean Lean on January 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    You are such an amazing mother already! I just chopped my supppperrr long hair short and LOVE it! If you feel the urge … go for it, it’s freeing 🙂

  3. Jennifer on January 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Gina, there is no doubt you are doing absolutely everything you could possibly humanly do for you beautiful baby.
    Tell yourself you’re an amazing Mom many times every single day. 🙂 Babies cry. When she’s having a crying moment
    cherish it…time flies and one day you’ll wish you could have back the days she was crying instead of rolling her eyes at you. 🙂

  4. Christine on January 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    You’re doing a great job!! Just remember, it will get better and easier. A tip for the boob preference, I went through the same thing with my son, however you hold her on that side (cradle/football) hold her the exact same way on the other side. I’m not sure if that makes sense…so if she is snuggled along the right or left side of you do the same on the side she doesn’t want to nurse on. It kinda tricks them into thinking it’s their favorite boob. Hang in there!

  5. Nicole on January 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Keep up the awesome work Gina! Hoping for a speedy recovery for you 🙂

  6. Michelle on January 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Gina, you are so much more than just the boob! But, I totally remember that it feels like that. With each day though, things get a little more leveled out, and your new norm settles in. You sound like you are doing exactly what you should be…..feeding her, loving her, and making her feel safe.
    I cried on and off for many weeks as the hormones settled. Hang in there!

  7. Carlee on January 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks for being so honest about your whole journey. As someone due in July, I love to read posts that tell it like it is. I’m impressed with how you are doing and adapting to everything. I can understand what it must be like to be told you have to be on bedrest. And I can’t wait to know what it feels like to cuddle and hold our baby. Keep it up!

  8. Angie All The Way on January 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Dear Gina,

    My son is 17 mths old and while these memories are still quite fresh in my mind, your sincerity and honesty made me feel like I was reading something I had written myself 16.5 months ago. If I could have sent myself a message from the “future” to explain “why” we are feeling fragile, insecure and anxious and hormonal right when we think we need the most strength, I think the reason is because it’s kind of a “mommy boot camp” that shapes you and molds you as a mother – sleep deprivation and all. All in good time, you are going to come out of this “boot camp” as an incredible new version of you. I promise you that while you are feeling this way now, you are going to prove to yourself many times over (tears and all) how right and perfect you are for this job for Livy, even if you feel weepy and insecure now.

    You are doing a fabulous job and doing everything right. You are going to be just fine when The Pilot returns to work. If I can do it, you can too 🙂

    ~A

  9. Kristin @ Wounded Fawn on January 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    You are more than just the boob! You know that though!

  10. Ashley on January 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Hey Gina,
    I just wanted to let you know that I love your hair color!! And the braided bangs look is very cute! 🙂

  11. Jessica@Fruit and Veggie Tales on January 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Hey lady! I’m sure someone has already suggested this but you should take Olivia to the chiropractor. She’s probably nursing less on that side because she’s uncomfortable, all babies have some degree of birth trauma and it’s best to see a chiropractor within 48 hours of birth but as long as you get her in there, you’re good! It’s a lot more gentle than with adults, no ‘cracking’ just an adjustment. It will do wonders, just make sure your chiropractor does infants! Have a great day!

  12. Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables on January 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Hope you feel better soon-and yes, hormones can be so cruel!

  13. The Mommy on January 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that the baby preferring one side over the other is common, so common that BOTH of my girls have done it – the first liked the left more, the second likes the right. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and try to make the side she doesn’t like as comfortable as possible when you do nurse her on it.

    And you are doing absolutely great, and you will get through. Don’t let the daily crying go un-checked though, if you’re feeling blue for much longer please talk to your Dr about it. Hormones are cruel. Sleep deprivation is horrendous. The recovery period is brutal. You need to take care of yourself for your little family, if you aren’t feeling well then that needs to be fixed.

    But don’t cut your hair. Seriously. I chopped mine within the first year after my first daughter was born and have regretted it ever since. I had long hair like yours, and it literally went up to my ears when I was done at that hair appointment. Rookie mistake 🙂

  14. Kathy on January 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Chin up – you’re doing great! I went through the same thing with my little man eight years ago and believe me when I tell you that this time will fly….sleep deprivation and all. He used to wake up every three hours (around the clock) screaming for food. Now, he snores like a log, has to be dragged out of bed on a school morning, can practically look me in the eye (I’m short!) and eats me out of house and home. Wouldn’t change a thing…..:)

  15. Elizabeth on January 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    You are such an inspiration Gina! Thank you for sharing the highs and lows — I know there are plenty of moms out there who wonder if it’s normal to feel the “lows.” The baby is talking to you when she cries. Soon she’ll trust that mama will take care of her and there’s no need to freak out. It just takes time.

    You have got this. You can do this. Your family is there for you — don’t feel like you need to be a superhero. Let them help.

    Love you girl!

  16. Annelei on January 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Gina, you are such an amazing mama! Olivia is so incredibly lucky to have you & Tom as her parents! Own your twisty bangs and messy bun, girl, you’ve earned it! Just focus on healing yourself and taking care of your sweet girl, that’s all you need to do. Let people help for as long as they want! I had meals coming in for a month after my last one and it was FANTASTIC to have one less thing to worry about! Love your honesty !

    <3Annelei

  17. jennifer on January 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Dont worry ur not just the boob, although it definitely feels like it in the beginning! There is something they find so comforting nursing with their mom. Now that my son is 3 months & breadfeeding is no longer painful it Malesia me so happy when i get home from work & he gives me a big smile & wants to cuddle & nurse.

  18. Roselyn @ A Balanced Fit on January 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I remembering my list of poops, feeds, etc. Ah, those were the days. 🙂 Hope you’re getting some sleep!

  19. La. on January 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Oh, I feel for you! The beginning is SO HARD! I couldn’t believe all the hormones and the feelings. The feelings of inadequacy and wondering how people have been mothers for centuries and here it is in the middle of the night and I have NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. You are more than just a boob, she has been listening to you for MONTHS, her whole life has been you and your heartbeat.

  20. Shannon on January 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I know it often feels like we don’t know what we’re doing (well, most of the time we don’t, ha!) but you can bet that the most important thing for your baby you ARE doing right – loving her! Everything else is learn as you go. I cried many, many nights (ok, weeks) after my son was born – but now almost 6 months later he’ll give me the biggest, gummy, two half-teeth grin and I realize I must be doing something right for me to make him so happy. It will be the same for you, I promise! Keep it up, you’re doing fantastic mama.
    Btw – just watched & tried your tutorial for the twisty bangs. Love it! This is def my new go to style for the gym and days where my little man won’t give me the time to do anything else to my hair. Thanks!

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