Thursday, November 08, 2007

Two weeks already?

(baby's first Halloween--our little pumpkin)

I can't believe Sophia is two weeks old already! I haven't had much of a chance to go online--or do anything, really--so sorry about the lack of posts. She keeps me extremely busy. I have to plan everything--where I can put her while I pee, or shower, or eat, etc. But I wouldn't trade this time for all the world. I'm already dreading having to go back to lab. I didn't really like lab all that much before Sophia was born, and having to go back to something I dislike while leaving something I love behind is tough.

Don't get me wrong--it's not in my personality to be a stay at home mom. I'm already going a little batty being home all day now. I just wish I had a little bit longer, and I wish I could be part time for a while instead of right back into full time. Actually, it's my hope to ease back into lab, but I know once I start back, my boss isn't going to be so keen on me being part time. But we'll see.

Anyway, back to Sophia. We're still doing sleepless nights (and I've learned the hard way she can't tolerate having me eat broccoli, which sucks for me). But it's gotten so much better since we've been home.

I don't know what I would have done without my family. Seriously, they have been a total godsend. We came home Saturday the 27th, and my milk had come in earlier that day. I was so engorged Saturday night that I couldn't get Sophie to get a good breastfeeding latch. She was frustrated, I was frustrated, and I ended up giving her a bottle of formula so she didn't starve (which was a huge no-no according to the breastfeeding class I took).

Sunday was a little better, but not much. Sunday night my fam (minus Amy, plus significant others) came up for my mom's birthday dinner. All 11 of us (including Sophie) had a nice dinner, and then my parents babysat so Tim and I could run out to the store. I've never enjoyed Wal-mart so much, and I've also never been so distracted by thoughts of Sophie at the same time. I bought a hand breast pump (I had ordered an electronic one that morning, but it wouldn't be here for a while), and I was hopeful that would let me nurse a little better Sunday night.

Sunday night was still pretty rough. Monday was tough too. I was wiped, and my adrenaline rush that had sustained me over the days since birth suddenly ran out. I managed to hang in there Monday afternoon while Tim's parents and a friend of mine from high school visited, but I just dropped around dinner time. Tim watched Sophia with his parents while I tried to sleep, but when I got up, I just didn't feel right. I think it was the baby blues--I wasn't sad, but I found myself crying for no reason.

Tim decided to call up my mom, and she came up Monday night and spent the night with us. Actually, she stayed up the whole night. I did the 1 AM feeding, left her a bottle of milk, and crashed until about 6. She stayed up with Sophie the whole night. She also showed me a trick--Sophie was still having some trouble latching on the breast, but she could take a bottle. It took me an hour to hand express a bottle, so that wasn't too realistic for every feeding, but my mom told me to try putting a bottle nipple on me so Sophie could get on. Sure enough, it worked! I had to do that for a few days until the engorgement went down, but it was such a lifesaver. I totally understand now why people might give up breastfeeding. It sounds so intuitive, but it was maybe the toughest part of the whole experience so far. I can do without sleep, but it's horrible to think you are starving your child because she can't breastfeed (I know she wasn't really starving, but that's what I was thinking).

After Monday night, things got easier. My mom's been a huge part of that. She's come up multiple times, cooked dinner almost every night, and stayed the night twice. She showed us how to bathe Sophia until her umbilical cord fell off (which it did Tuesday night). And most of all, it's been wonderful to have her in the house. It's tough being here all by myself. Forget things like housework--there's no way--but just going to the bathroom is tough when it's just me. Plus, we've gotten the chance to chat, watch Rachael Ray every afternoon, and just have a lot of mother-daughter bonding. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I've loved having Sophia around these last two weeks. It's absolutely unlike anything I ever thought possible. There are a few things I would do differently for the next one--mainly, have Tim take more than a half day off once we are home from the hospital--but we're coping. And she's healthy, according to the pediatrician, so whatever we're doing, it's working. She'll sleep more than two hours eventually. And I can function ok until she does. I guess it's those maternal instincts or something.

And if I need to go somewhere with her, I can. I took her to her last pediatrician's visit on my own, and it was doable, and last night Tim and I took her to Target to get diapers (oh my gosh, the number of diapers we go through...) It takes about an hour or two to get her ready (feed her so she's happy, change her, get the diaper bag together, get her in the car seat, etc). But we'll get better at it.

So yeah, that's my life right now. It's tiring, but she is so worth it. It's amazing, and a little scary, how much I love her, and how quickly I did. And it has changed the way Tim and I look at each other--but so much for the better. I got a little teary last night as I listened to Tim reading Sophia her first bedtime story (the Sneeches, by Dr. Seuss.) Seeing him be such a good dad really touches me. It's just one more way we love each other, I guess. The whole experience had been emotional and overwhelming. No amount of reading or research could've prepared me for this. And I couldn't be happier.

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