The last four weeks have passed by in a wonderful, exhausting fog. It really is true that with motherhood comes amnesia and as time passes, you forget what the newborn stage is really like.
You forget what it means to operate on a small amount of fragmented sleep on an everyday basis. You forget that the meaning of “me time” changes from getting away for an afternoon of shopping to getting a five minute uninterrupted shower.
And even though you’ve been warned, you don’t fully understand what it means to transition from one child to two. There are no words that can truly prepare you for what it will be like.
At one month postpartum, however, I am starting to feel normal again. As Luke starts to settle into a more predictable routine, I’m starting to find my groove and realize that I can do this. Here’s what’s been happening the last month.
Life with Luke
This little guy has been a complete joy, even if he has turned our lives upside down.
Although “little” is a relative term. He was 9 pounds, 11 ounces at birth, and at his check up with the pediatrician 3 days later, he’d already gained back his birth weight. At another check up at the two week mark, he was up to 10 pounds, 7 ounces. I don’t know how much he weighs now as he isn’t due for another check up until 8 weeks, but he’s outgrowing his clothes at an alarming rate.
Generally, Luke is a happy, mellow baby. He cries when he needs something, but overall has a great disposition. Can everyone please take a moment to knock on wood? I’m paranoid I’m going to jinx it and he’ll wake up with colic tomorrow!
During the day he nurses, we play with him for a few minutes, and then he’s ready for a nap. He naps like a champion. Night time is another story. One thing I could always count on with Meghan was going back to sleep after a middle of the night feeding. I’d feed her, change her diaper, and she’d go right back to sleep.
Luke has other things in mind in the middle of the night. He tends to be fussy and has trouble settling back down to sleep after feeding, which means I’m awake with him for long stretches in the night.
I mentioned this to the pediatrician, and after talking to her about his stools (always a fun conversation), she suggested he might have a sensitivity to the protein in dairy. I cut it out just to be safe for now. She also suggested we try gas drops, which we’ve started giving him after every feeding. He no longer cries like he’s uncomfortable at night, so I think these measures have helped some. I am just hoping that something clicks soon and he learns to go back to sleep after nursing in the middle of the night.
Breastfeeding is going really well. He latched on perfectly at the hospital and hasn’t looked back. It’s actually been quite a bit easier with him than it was with Meghan. He feeds every 2 1/2-3 hours and we haven’t had any issues.
I plan to introduce the bottle with expressed breast milk this week. I hope it goes well so that I can let Tim do a feeding now and then. And maybe I can even get away to get my hair done one of these days. Maybe.
Big Sister Meghan
Meghan adores Luke. She loves it when “his eyes are open” and lays by him, reads to him, and kisses him. She has a lot of trouble, however, sharing me. She doesn’t like it when my attention has to be on Luke.
The first two weeks she was just really emotional and would cry when I was nursing Luke. She actually asked me if she could have some of Mommy’s milk, too, which broke my heart. A few times she started crying out of the blue and when I asked what was wrong, she’d say, “I don’t know”. It was so sad to see her like that because I knew she was just confused and trying to figure out her feelings of loving her brother, yet not liking having to share her parents.
The last two weeks she’s acted out more. She’s become more whiny and difficult. Tim and I are doing the best we can to make sure each of us is spending ample one-on-one time with her and encouraging her to help with Luke duties as much as possible.
I think as time goes by and she gets accustomed to our new routine, she will get better and we’ll see more of her normal, happy self. Even if she’s getting into mischief.
Despite my state of sleep deprivation, I’m feeling great. I have another two weeks until my postpartum checkup, but I’m really anxious to start exercising again. Mostly I’m anxious to be able to wear and feel good in my normal clothes again. I have about 10 pounds to go before I’m back at my pre-pregnancy weight. I fit into a few pairs of my jeans, but the tops is where I’m having the most trouble. My stomach still sticks out and I don’t feel comfortable in very many of my shirts. I searched through all of my pictures to find one of me, and this one from Christmas (1 week postpartum) was all I could find. Guess I need to start giving Tim the camera more.
Emotionally I’m kind of all over the place. One day I feel energetic and ready to conquer the world (okay, that means just make it through the day at this point) and then other days, when I’m still in my pajamas at 4 o’clock, I feel stressed and like I’m never going to be able to get anything done ever again. It’s crazy having to adjust to a new life with postpartum hormones raging through your body.
Some good news is that I’m able to get back into the kitchen more and more. I have a recipe coming tomorrow for a grain-free, dairy-free, delicious muffin, so make sure you check back!