Monday, April 30, 2007

Three Weeks In

My Boy was born three weeks ago today.

1. Breast feeding continues to kick my ass. I'm meeting with another, highly recommended group of lactation consultants tomorrow to see why the Boy can latch on to me, nurse for a damn hour, sound like he's eating and swallowing just fine, but still screams with hunger when he finally pulls off the boob.

2. As a follow up to Friday, I had the Boy weighed at the pediatrician's office after a few days of trying to wean him off formula in favor of an entirely-breast-fed diet, and he's not gaining weight as fast as he should. He should have been eight pounds on Friday, and he was only 7 pounds 12 ounces. So this breastfeeding challenge isn't just my own schtick; it's really not an effective way for the Boy to eat. (I still feel super-strongly, that breast milk is just healthier and better for him, which is why I'm continuing my efforts so far).

3. In between all my efforts (having the Boy on the boobs, then giving him supplemental bottles of both pumped breast milk and formula, for a total of three ounces of fluid per feeding, AND THEN pumping for twenty minutes after all that), the Boy sleeps a lot in between meals.

4. He's actually sleeping right now, giving me some precious free time to go online, wash dishes (because with all those bottles, I am handwashing a ton right now).

5. A friend let me borrow a tiny newborn sling so I've been wearing the Boy on my body, rather than letting him sleep in his bassinet in one room while I carry a monitor to a different part of the house to listen in on him to make sure he's OK while I'm say, in the kitchen washing dishes. The sling seems a bit earthy-crunchy and Attachment Parenting to me, two concepts I hadn't thought I subscribed to, but it's honestly nice to be blogging right now with the Boy all snuggly and warm on my body right here, instead of across the room in his bassinet.

6. Mister L went back to work full time last week, and while I thought the week would be tough on my own, it actually wasn't so bad. It's much easier to tend to the Boy and myself when no one else is here, although I did have several visitors over the week. My mother, in particular, came over often and is really helping me out. She cleaned out our refrigerator, for example, while I was trying yet again to breastfeed. Stuff like that is super-helpful.

7. Our house, and myself in particular, is generally sort of cluttered. I have been wearing the same loungewear for a few days now and I'm lucky if I can shower every two days. We had guests over last night and I've never looked worse in front of people other than my husband or own family. But frankly, I could care less (except when I see pictures and see how un-glam I look).

8. While I am tired most of the time, that insomnia I've dealt with both pre- and during pregnancy has served me well. I can get by doing things on not a lot of sleep (heck, I'm blogging right now instead of napping, aren't I?) and in the middle of the night when the Boy cries, I can pull myself out of bed and get what needs to be done done. The Mister, on the other hand, has always required a lot of sleep. A LOT of sleep.

9. While I'm doing the majority of diaper duty and feedings (I've been giving the Mister the bottle feedings when he's coherent), the Mister has done umpteen loads of laundry, entirely planned the Boy's bris two weeks ago when we had fifty people and a ton of food in our house, and goes shopping as needed when we run out of things, like cranberry juice. (Breastfeedings means you should be drinking all the time).

10. Oh yeah, the diabetes. My sugars have been OK, not great, since coming home from the hospital as a new mom. My basal rates are sort of simple, not the twelve different rates I had both pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy. My correction rate is so simple now, as is my meal ratios. The first few days, I couldn't believe I was using so little insulin and that my body was responding appropriately. We're talking daily insulin doses of 34 units, down from 120 units during pregnancy. I used to regularly take, say, 20 units of insulin for a meal. Now taking seven or eight units for a meal is considered a lot. And I'm shocked when high blood sugars go down with a 1:40 correction rate, down from the 1:10 rate I was using at the tail end of the pregnancy.
11. Sugars, of course, are typically in the triple digits (mid-100s, say) rather than flirting with the 60-90 range I saw during pregnancy. While sometimes I think it wouldn't be bad to try to regain that kind of control, particularly because I can always recognize my reactions and tested so frequently to catch any lows, the breastfeeding/feeding schedule for the Boy is generally taking up a ton of my time (especially when I try to feed him by boob first, which adds a good 45 minutes to the routine.)

12. Am in the middle of catching up on a ton of blogs, and am commenting slowly.

13. The postpartum hormones appear to have chilled out for me; I'm no longer bursting into tears over people's kindness or my own frustration (as I did the first few weeks I got home). My itchy drug-reaction rashy legs are slowly feeling better, though my calves are still swollen. The ankles seems somewhat smaller, though.

14. I signed up for a bunch of new mom classes that are offered in my town. They all start in a few weeks and it'll be interesting to actually leave the house for something recreational, rather than yet another doctor's appointment for either myself or the Boy.


LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

Sounds like you are doing extraordinarily well under the circumstances! I, for one, am impressed!

Samantha said...

For someone with little sleep, you sound very organized! I love the idea of the newborn sling. It just sounds... cozy.

Major Bedhead said...

I hope the new lactation consultants can help you out. Sometimes breastfeeding just doesn't work, though.

Good luck. You really are doing great with all of this. I remember just being totally overwhelmed.

Kassie said...

your comment on the sling was particularly striking. For all the theories and methods and techniques we think we will or won't subscribe to... it always seems to boil down to what works for us. I'm a big fan of cherry picking ideas from all the different parenting approaches :)

Ottoette said...

Sounds like you're doing ok. That first 6 weeks is quite an adjustment and experience. I admire your committment to breastfeeding, it was about 3 weeks in that things settled down for me in that department. Wild how the insulin rates have changed so much. I guess breastfeeding really is like exercising 500 calories worth a day.
What brand sling are you using? I have been thinking about one for my new one, just afraid I will dump her out of it.
Hang in there.

Lyrehca said...

Otto--tried to email you directly but couldn't find an address on your blog. I'm using a Hotsling, which is great for a newborn without neck control. It's like wearing a little hammock pouch on my chest and Baby L fits right in. I do cover him up when I'm eating so I don't get crumbs on him, and I'm looking forward to wearing him more upright once he can support his own head, but I would recommend the Hotsling for the newborn period.

Laurie said...

Great to get these updates, L!!

Hope the breastfeeding battle is getting easier each day, and that the little guy continues to thrive!!

AmyT said...

Congratulations!! I cannot believe you are blogging right now at all.

btw, breast feeding kicked my ass every time. It took MONTHS to feel normal-ish again... and I didn't even have diabetes then. So hats off to you, Mom!


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