Seven Weeks In

Today marks the seventh week of our parenthood; the seventh week of Tucker’s life; The seventh week of my postpartum healing from the Cesarian.

Parenthood:

Being a parent is hard; and we haven’t even gotten to any of the really difficult things like walking, talking, potty training, kindergarten, girls, driving, college…(you get the idea).

Right now, we muddle through our work-from-home lives, dazed and amazed at how fast 24 hours really is (and how SLOOOOW it can be). Not only that, but how hard being a spouse is. Parenthood is not just a journey for us as a couple, but as individuals within a couple. We’ve been a couple for four years; we continue to develop our communication skills and to grow as husband and wife.

It’s good (and important) for us to keep growing. I think we are in a constant state of learning what the other needs and adjusting to meet those needs. Throw in a baby, and our work is definitely cut out for us.

Tucker:

Seven weeks ago I was just amazed that he was here and real. I think Jason and I both are still shocked that we made this tiny, über-dependent person. For my part, I pretty much find myself obsessively googling the strange things he does and habits (or lack thereof) he seems to be acquiring. It’s all a matter of perspective.

“They”–and by “they,” I mean just about all the literature the LCs and doctors have handed us–say that Tucker should be sleeping roughly 16-18 hours a day. He doesn’t. He averages 12; on bad days he gets maybe 9 and on really good days he might pull off 14. I have learned that if he has a crap day, the next one is likely to be good.

I’ve also discovered that Tucker isn’t the only baby NOT sleeping the prescribed length. We are very lucky that he isn’t really a fussy boy…If he’s overtired, he doesn’t really complain; he just grows sad, droopy bags under his eyes. It’s where we keep the extra binkies.

He likes to sleep after nursing, and he can get a solid hour or two napping on my lap (we have a giantnormous pillow acting as Boppy for the time being which also allows my laptop some space to work). He sleeps great (most nights) through the night.

Postpartum Recovery:

I have been healing nicely. The doctors didn’t use sutures or staples, but what Jason and I are calling “bio-glue,” to close me up, so my incision site is and has been looking good.

My abs, on the other hand, are pretty much non-existent. And my pelvis is still pretty sore (even though I didn’t have a baby push through it). The good news is I will be cleared for more strenuous exercise next week.

Jason decided that we should train together for a [half] marathon. Run or walk, I think it’s a great idea and a good way for us to do more together. I’m excited to begin training with him next week!

We can take this guy with us while we’re still working out the lower mileage.

Ready to Roll

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Baby Cheeks

The wee man has been a lovely work buddy. I was assigned several children’s readers and their workbooks to review this week. Tucker really had a blast hearing the stories as I read them aloud. The stories are much higher levels than would generally be read to a baby, but they are quite useful in giving Tucker quality time with me, hearing my voice, while I get quality time with my J.O.B. Tucker-time is of course an awesome bonus.

After work, I was able to spend more time with Tucker, and while he was resting from a 3:30 feeding, we had smile time. I like smile time SO much more than working. Who wouldn’t? I mean, look at those cheeks?

We [Don’t] Got This

Just when you feel even the slightest bit confident in your (new) parenting abilities, you’re thrown that proverbial curve ball. I can’t really claim that I felt or have felt super confident about my role as mother (and food provider) to Tucker, but until recently I did feel OK about it.

He’s seemingly hit a growth spurt… Or has been in the midst of one since about two and a half weeks (at his one-month well baby check today he’d packed on two pounds in the last three weeks!). So while we’d been hoping for a reprieve from the wakefulness of baby, the relentless feeding, and the crying… No dice.

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He’s not the only one crying in our house either. With feedings demanded every hour or so, I’m really struggling. While he eats (and eats), I’m lucky if I can ingest 700-800 calories a day. I try to drink as much water as I can, but eating has been a huge trial.

Baby Daddy

Baby + Daddy = Love

I neglected to post a Mommy Milestone on Monday because I actually started back to work on Monday. I’m thankful for my boss (both bosses really [my VP is great], but my Editor in Chief is truly the bee’s knees) because she has been so accommodating. She’s been kind enough to work around our Tucker schedule (as in… he doesn’t really have one and my work hours are now quite sporadic at best).

Regardless of how accommodating my office has been, the fact of the matter is that Tucker is unpredictable. On Tuesday he slept 2-3 hours every hour or two. On Wednesday and Thursday, this wasn’t the case and I really had to scramble to make my deadline on Thursday, 5:30 pm.

In this case, Jason, my wonderful and amazing husband, took control of the baby and whisked him away (after he woke up from a much-needed 3-hour nap) yesterday afternoon/evening so I could make my deadline.

In addition to stressing about work, I’ve been stressing about Tucker in general. He’s 4 weeks today, and while we had a rough beginning, things are mellowing (albeit somewhat slowly). The newest thing to cause both (or all) of us stress is Tucker’s odd nursing behavior. At first I thought it was nipple confusion on account of him needing to be bottle fed for the first few days while he was in the NICU. And to be honest, we probably started using/continued to use bottles too soon before breastfeeding was established completely, but he does the same thing with his bottles too.

The behavior: Tucker will attempt to latch, and even if the nipple is in his mouth, he roots around, gets pissed that he can’t find it, and starts to cry. OR he has latched, but pulls off within seconds, and then he tries to latch again, only to get frustrated while doing the same thing mentioned above. It’s super frustrating to him, but to me as well… to the point where I end up tearing up or all out crying. Babies are hard work. In the back of my head is the constant: how have I f***ed him up already/ how will I inevitably f*** him up in the (near) future. We’re meeting with a lactation consultant on Monday before my 4-week post op appointment with  my OB-Gyn.

This week’s victory goes more to my husband for being superman.