Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thoughts After the First Week

Now that Madelynn's been here for a week and half a day, I've got a bunch of thoughts swirling around in my head about how it's been going and what's next.

How It's Been So Far

This first week with a newborn has been incredibly easy. My easiest first week out of the four, I think. Scott and I had an understanding that I'd be taking it very easy for a while after the birth because I need to be physically ready to start school on August 17th. Between that and the incredibly hot weather, I did practically nothing but sit for a full seven days. We did take a short trip to Babies R Us, Safeway, and three restaurants just to find some air conditioning. But that is nothing compared to starting housework and cooking a couple days after birth like I usually do. So, physically, I feel great!

Mentally, I feel pretty darn good, as well. I had severe postpartum depression following my first two. I did pretty good after Josh, as well, with the exception of that horrible week at Mary Bridge when Josh struggled through RSV. I've never felt this good following a birth. In fact, I feel better than I do normally when I'm not pregnant, postpartum, or nursing. I think the fact that it is summer has a lot to do with that as I do deal with pretty major seasonal issues.

Maddie is making it all pretty easy too. The first two days were crazy as she seemed to nurse for 55 minutes out of every hour. However, once my milk came in, she started nursing for about 30 minutes every 2-3 hours. That is a very tolerable amount. Not only that, but I can usually put her down without her waking rather than having to hold her 24/7 like I had to with Mika. It seems that she's been working on her first growth spurt (the 1 week one) as her nursing frequency went up quite a bit yesterday. Overall, she's happy and content. Life, for her, is nurse, sleep, quiet alertness, nurse, sleep, nurse, sleep, quiet alertness, etc. There's very little crying in there, and when she does cry, Josh makes sure we know it by announcing, "Baby dar crying."

How It's Going Now

Like I said, things are going pretty well. However, there are a few thoughts swirling in my head that I need to deal with.

One of the more crucial things, is breasfeeding. I already have 6 years of breastfeeding under my belt so I feel like I should be an old pro at this by now. And, in many ways, I do. We've had no problems getting started and Maddie gained 11oz between her first newborn well-visit on Monday and a quick visit with the nurse on Friday for her PKU. That tells me that she is definitely getting enough milk. However, we are having latch issues despite my attempts to correct them. I've noticed that she tends to slip down to just the nipple after latching on. On one side, she tends to pop off a lot. On the other side, she latches on and stays on...tightly; it is very hard to release her suction. However, I am very sore on that side. The skin is peeling and I have kind of like a scab on that nipple. I've done some reading online and the slipping down could be caused by her being tongue-tied. While it doesn't seem to be too tight, and certainly not as tight as Mika's was, we're going to call the doctor tomorrow to either schedule or get the necessary referral to get it clipped. It is much easier to do it now, when it is super thin.

I've realized that I need to be good about taking advantage of the other time I get away from nursing if I want to stay on top of things. No more wasting time. If she's asleep and will let me put her down (without waking up), then I need to use that time to get things done as I won't know how much time I'll have. It may be 15 minutes; it may be 3 hours. If it's only a short time, I don't have the luxery of playing first.

I'm also starting to feel overwhelmed, not necessarily about having a newborn to care for, but about all the things I need to get done in the next two weeks. School starts in two weeks for our virtual academy. During that time I need to:

Finish watching Teaching the Classics.

Watch Teaching Writing: Structure and Style

Turn in the rest of my curriculum orders.

Finish planning our year and filing my primary curriculum.

Get the school room cleaned up, organized, and ready for school.

Figure out what preschool, if any, I want to do with Josh...or how I'm going to keep him entertained and happy while we do school.

Get caught back up on general household chores.

And do all of that (they are all fairly large projects) with a newborn in arms.

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The Four Week Vegan said...

That does sound like a lot on your plate over the next two weeks. Anyway you could watch those instructional things while nursing? I know you are a pro at nursing, but does your midwife have a lactation consultant or maybe the hospital -it might help to get their opinions too.

Kandi said...

You sure will have your hands full it sounds like! We are also a Washington virtual academy family - always nice to meet other families in the area, doing the same as us. Best of luck!