two weeks old: boobs

ImageYes, my child has joined the legions of other babies dressed as ladybugs for Halloween.  And with a damn good reason – ladybugs are cute, babies are cute, and babies dressed as ladybugs are about as cute as it gets.  This is Norah with her goofy dad.

Yesterday was a good day for several reasons – Norah hit 2 weeks old, and it just so happened to be mine and Merry’s 4th anniversary.  4 years of marriage is pretty impressive in my book, especially because we get to mark this 4th year with an adorable milestone.  Needless to say, we didn’t bother with gifts… the poop machine is enough of a gift.  🙂

I had my 2 week postpartum appointment today, and everything is looking awesome.  I got to see my favorite midwife, show her my little squishy, and share some tidbits of my birth story that she hadn’t heard.  The best part was, shockingly, stepping on the scale for the first time in 3 weeks, because I’ve already lost 18 pounds!  Hell yeah.  I am officially 3 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight, and the nurse was shocked.  I really do feel so good, though – I feel lighter, all of my old clothes fit well, and the only weight I really have left is in my boobs, which have kinda exploded due to the breastfeeding thing.  And bigger boobs have made my clothes actually fit BETTER – thanks, clothing designers who don’t understand that not all women who wear size L/XL shirts have gigantic titties.  Growing up with barely a B cup, these big old size D boobs are revolutionary.  I hope they don’t go away.  🙂

Speaking of boobs – breastfeeding.  The next great hurdle after you shove the kid out.

Long story short, Norah’s stay in the NICU set us back super far.  Even just those 3 days apart from her made it so that I didn’t get to really give her a chance to latch, and I had to let them supplement her with formula to get the hell out of there.  Luckily, by the time she was a week old, we were off the formula.  I’m pumping pretty often, but I’m also nursing frequently during the day – she has to use a nipple shield since her latch is awful due to the supplement bottles.  I’m sure the shield will be temporary, but because I know it can hurt your supply, the pumping is important.  Plus, I’ve built up a tidy little stash in the fridge, and that makes me happy.  🙂  I give her bottles at night or when we go out, since nursing is a bit of a process with us owing to needing the exact right nursing pillow, the shield, etc.  I’m not a pop the boob out and go lady yet.  I mean, I may never be – but that’s okay.

That’s kinda the place I’ve come to after all this.  Is my kid gaining weight?  Like a freaking freight train – she’s a pound up from her birth weight already!  She eats like a horse.  Is she getting all breast milk?  Absolutely.  Are we spending time nursing each day, which is good for my supply and helps me prevent things like mastitis?  Yep!  So fuck the rest.  Fuck the people who give me shit for bottle feeding (they exist, and they do give me shit, in fact).  I’ve found a way to nurse that keeps my supply growing, that doesn’t hurt, and that keeps my little monkey fed.  That’s all that counts.

Anyway.  The Boob Saga will continue with us, I’m sure.  I’m paranoid about my supply, but it’s holding so far.

Other tidbits?  We are happily cloth diapering – she finally fits in her smallest covers, so that’s working out.  She’s actually about to bust out of the preemie prefolds, so I have some newborn ones on the way to help transition into the next size.  We scrambled to find her clothes that fit at first (I didn’t buy much newborn stuff), but now she’s getting into the 0-3 things, and I have plenty of those.  She sleeps very well at night – I got a 5 hour stretch the other day!  Usually she will sleep at least 2 chunks of 3 hours at night, sometimes 3.  She doesn’t fuss or cry randomly – only for food or to be changed.  She wants to be held most of the time, but that’s no big deal, cause I don’t wanna put her down.  🙂

So far, this little family of 3 is quite happy.  I think we earned it.

24 weeks: it begins again

So, somewhere in my little blissful pregnant happy place, I forgot that I would soon be hitting the third trimester and as a result be BOMBARDED with appointments and tests.  If I had realized they would mostly be in July, I would have waited for childbirth classes until August – but eh.  At least this way I’ll keep busy.  Or something.

Had my 24 week appointment today – everything is lovely.  My blood pressure was 114/74, which floored me – but that’s what it was at the end of my appointment at UW, so I know it’s not a fluke.  I’m genuinely glad, and I’m very grateful that I don’t have to mess with my meds at all and that I get to just take this one tiny pill with no side effects. 

I’m finally back at my pre-pregnancy weight, meaning I have 16 weeks left to gain a max of 20 pounds.  Pretty sure I can handle that.  🙂  The only downside is that I did learn the baby is measuring a tiny bit small.  Not so small that they’re concerned about it – my midwife was very reassuring and said to remember that smaller babies get pushed out easier – but small nonetheless.  Still, I have an ultrasound next month, and I have a feeling she grew like crazy this last month, so I think she’ll catch up a bit.  And where she doesn’t, I’m sure breast milk will get her to be pretty gigantic before too long.  🙂  Also, ultrasounds are super crappy at telling baby size, as my midwife explained.

So, we come to July – and millions of appointments.  Childbirth classes will run all through July on Tuesdays, with a breastfeeding class on the last Thursday of the month.  I’m back to the UW on the same day as that breastfeeding class (joy), and also that same week, I have my 28 week appointment with glucose test.  Oh, and of course, another ultrasound the Thursday before that.  It’s pretty freaking nuts.  But that’s the drill when you have just one small thing that makes you potentially high risk – even though I’m doing so well, they still have to keep on top of stuff. 

How am I doing otherwise?  Huh.  Pretty well, all things considered.  I get a bit of back pain, but nothing’s really hitting me hard except the fatigue.  I’m sleeping so freaking poorly right now – between being pregnant, having three animals who can be downright annoying at night with making noise and needing to go outside, the temperature being so stupid with the heat and the humidity, and my allergies, I’m getting just a few hours if I’m lucky.  Still, my job is over now, so I have the days free to nap.  Which I do.  CONSTANTLY.

Six months.  Only 4 to go.  3 more weeks and it’ll be the third trimester.  There’s still so much to do, which is frustrating – but it’ll get done. 

22 weeks: really, boobs? really?

So, 2 weeks ago, my left boob decided it was going to be an overachiever and start leaking.  Just a tiny bit – it was super unexpected, and it’s just clear-ish fluid as far as I can tell.  Now, at 22 weeks, it’s leaking practically every night.  I woke up two nights ago with my camisole practically soaked.  And yet, my right boob… nothing.  Why?  WHY?

I just… man.  Either both leak, or neither.  This is what I want.  This lopsidedness is driving me batty.

I bought some more breast pads today – I had a few Tommee Tippee ones, but they come in 2 packs and obviously I only need one at a time.  Jeez.  I guess I should be glad it isn’t happening during the day.

22, almost 23 weeks.  Everything is still going quite well.  I had my UW specialist appointment, and it went swimmingly – the douchebag doctor was only in my room for 5 minutes, and he basically went, “Feeling better?  Good, I knew you would.”  Then he talked for a minute more about how awesome he is, measured my stomach, and took off.  So no extra meds!  Yay!  My top number is still kinda high (about 130 at the doctor initially, though it dropped to 114 by the end of the visit), but my bottom number is in the 70s regularly, which is great for me.  They had my ultrasound results, and apparently the baby is right on track for growth, which I’m quite happy about as well.

First question from every health professional nowadays seems to be regarding movement – they always want to know if I’m feeling the kid frequently.  I can definitely say I am – she’s a freaking wiggleworm.  But I see why they ask – it’s really a good gauge of how well things are going.  Active babies are usually healthy babies.

My weight is also freaking great – I’m still 1 pound below my starting weight!  Well, 2 pounds below – the scale at UW is always a pound higher than the one at my midwife clinic.  But I’m so proud of myself.  I haven’t been great with the quality of my food, but I’m still drinking tons of water, and my portions are pretty small.  I’m hoping to be no more than at my starting weight by the end of this month so that I can start the third trimester by still having my 11-19 pounds to gain.  Whee!

Now, all I want to do is spend all my money on cloth diapers.  That’s cool, right?  Right.

21 weeks: holy crap, calm down, kid

There is a baby with a VENGEANCE inside of me.  Seriously.  She is the queen of wiggling.  I’m starting to be able to tell the difference with movement – like, what’s a kick vs a flip, etc.  Today and yesterday have been all about the somersaults.  Mini gymnast inside, apparently.

I got to have my first set of bladder kicks last week as well.  That was awesome.  Laying down, minding my own business – a tiny little tap – and then OH MY GOD I HAVE TO PEE GOTTA RUN.  I’m constantly grateful I live in a house in the master bedroom where I have a bathroom just a few steps away.

I have to go back to the stupid goddamn asshole hypertension specialist next week.  I knew this was coming, it’s just an 8 week check, but baaaahhh I don’t want to.  For some reason, even though the medication has totally lowered my BP and my midwives are quite happy with it, I’m afraid he’s going to try and stick me with an extra med.  I’ve started taking extra magnesium and calcium supplements along with plenty of vitamin D in the hopes that it’ll all help keep me steady.  Merry says that he’s seen two women come into his pharmacy who have the same doctor and are on THREE different meds.  As soon as he told me that, I decided to stop whining about my one medication.  My little girl will be fine.

Speaking of fine little girls – no phone calls all week from my midwives, meaning that there were no problems with my ultrasound!  Yay!  The tech did say I may have to come back in since the kid wasn’t cooperating with having pictures of her face taken (sounds like her mom) and had her arm over her head.  Since they usually need face photos to check for cleft palates and the like, the tech said I might need another scan in 4 weeks.  However – since the hypertension clinic in Seattle wants me to have a growth scan at 28 weeks, my midwives might just be lumping it all together at that point.  Which works for me.

The other night, Merry and I were spooning, and he slipped his hand under my shirt and rested on the side of my belly.  A minute later, he popped his head up, startled.  I asked him what was up, and he said, “I swear I can feel the baby’s heartbeat.”  I think he was expecting me to laugh at him, but I informed him that yes, that’s probably totally what he was feeling.  One of my many pregnancy apps actually said at 21 weeks that your partner would very likely be able to hear the heartbeat just by laying on your stomach.  So there you go.  He hasn’t been able to feel any kicking yet, since she’s still so inconsistent.  So, I think that moment was pretty neat for him.  I’m glad.

A little over 18 weeks to go.  That’s downright terrifying.