Every day is a learning experience

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I can't believe that little B is already 20 days old.  It seems like just yesterday we were watching him wiggle around on the ultrasound screen.  Time really does fly.  I think that sleep deprivation makes things go even faster, if that is possible.  The days and nights are all blurred into one long never ending  day.  I LOVE the weekends because I have my husband home to help me.

Even though I am only 20 days in, I have already learned a lot.  I know every baby is different, but I'll outline a few of the main things that I have learned already.  It might help some of the new mommies or soon-to-be mommies.  Having different perspectives is always helpful!  These are my experiences and may not be what you will experience so please keep that in mind!

1.  Nothing can prepare you for the lack of sleep that you will experience.  All of those silly people who told me to "rest up" and "bank my sleep" seriously had no clue what they were talking about.  You can't stockpile sleep and if you could, being huge and pregnant doesn't lend well to sleeping anyways.  Once the baby is born, you can say goodbye to more than 3 hour stretches of sleep at a time, at least for the first few weeks.  Napping during the day doesn't really help, in my experience.  I wake up groggy and confused.  During B's first few days, I had to wake him up to feed him so he could regain back to his birth weight.  Once I stopped setting my alarm every 2 1/2 hours, he started waking me up every 2 hours on his own, go figure.  It is actually quite amazing that one can function with 3 total hours of broken sleep a night.

2.  Hormones are a BITCH.  I can go from so happy and grateful to angry and upset in 10 seconds.  I wake up at night drenched in sweat.  I have a very short fuse.  My hair is falling out, but not as bad as it did after my first miscarriage.  My beautiful pregnancy skin (yes, this was one area where I was lucky) has given way to a greasy broken out mess.  I look at B and I cry sometimes because he is so perfect and I feel like I don't deserve him.  I feel like I am not nearly as good of a mother as my mother was.  I never heard her complain about getting up in the middle of the night with any of my brothers or sisters.  I never heard to cry over sleep deprivation and when a baby would not stop crying.  My mother was a saint.  God bless her.

3.  Nursing is hard and good nursing friendly clothing is hard to come by, apparently.  During the first few days of nursing, when my milk came in, I was in a tremendous amount of pain.  My boobs felt like painful rocks.  I even ran a slight temperature.  I called my mom crying and she told me it was all normal and that it would pass in a day or two.  She was right.  Then came the sore nipples and scabs.  Yes, sounds gross, but this is what happened to me.  My nipples felt like they were going to fall off so I alternated feedings with the nipple shield.  Yes, it was a pain in the ass to clean and make it stay on, but it helped when I felt like throwing in the towel.  The scabs caused some clogged ducts, which felt like huge painful lumps.  Massaging and hovering over the baby to feed for a few sessions helped with this.  Rock hard boobs, calloused nipples, and clogged ducts gave way to a crazy milk supply.  I was worried about not producing enough when, in fact, I have a great supply.  I even have an overactive letdown which sometimes causes little B to choke because the milk comes spraying out!  This brings me to nursing clothes.  I bought a few nursing tanks at T.arget that I love and then a few more online.  Regular shirts are just useless right now, even if you have a good nursing bra (I recommend the B.ravado seamless bra).  I ordered a few more from T.arget the other day and they cancelled my order saying they are no longer in stock even though when I look online it says that have them.  I would recommend nursing tanks for wearing to sleep and around the house.  Buy a bunch because you'll find that you need to change 2-3 times a day for various reasons (baby spit, milk dripping, explosive poops, etc.).

4.  C-section recovery sucks.  I still am angry and feel cheated.  Please don't judge me.  I know I should just be happy I have my baby, but every time I think about my awful birth experience, I cry.  My husband keeps telling me to get over it and he is right.  I need to move on.  I think I might need to go back to see my therapist.  Similarly to how I was when I was having trouble staying pregnant, I am jealous of other people's seemingly perfect birth experiences and easy recoveries.  I know that this probably is not normal.  Physically, my incision is healing well, but all of my past rub right at that spot.  I haven't found any that are comfortable.  I also still look pregnant.  This is the most bothersome to me.  I have lost 35 lbs, but yet I still have this swollen belly that is covered in stretch marks.  I have no idea if this is normal and if it will go away.  I can't lift more than 15 lbs. so that really restricts what I can do and where I can go.  I just want to feel normal, look normal, and enjoy my baby without all of the restrictions.

5.  You'll never love anything as much as you love your baby.  This one is so very true.  My friends did warn me about this and I wasn't sure I believed them, but now I know that they were right.  No matter how much they fuss or cry or spit up or pee/poop all over you the love that you feel for them is so unconditional and immense.  I look at him and I cry because I love him so much.  It is so amazing to me how much you can love such a tiny little human so much.  He really makes everything else that sucks so bad, worth it.  I would go through all this crap 100 times over if I had to do it to get him.                  

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3 Responses to “Every day is a learning experience”

  1. Can't believe it's already been 20 days! Man alive. You're doing great, mama.

  2. Thank you for posting this! I have been wondering how you were doing. This list is so helpful!!

  3. You're doing great, even if you don't feel like it. (Baby B is alive, eating, and pooping.)

    I know people will tell you over and over again to get over your birth experience and you will eventually, but you can't help how you feel. You'll work through it.