Forest at Four Weeks
Forest is growing up! Where did September go? I swear it just began and now here we are in October. I know where September went, the first half was spent in a muddied haze of trying to navigate parenthood and the second half was spent trying to continue working out those kinks within the confines of the house. Every afternoon I look at the clock and wonder where my day went. The most productive things I do come in spurts and I rarely accomplish much off of any to-do list. Maybe I get to sweeping the floor. One day I managed to dye my hair. I’ve been wanting to finish his scrapbook for days, no over a weeek, but never get to. I have to get the diapers hung, that’s a given, but most days the biggest things I do are change diapers and sit on the couch and feed the little dude. And find time to feed myself…somehow.
Some days I might get a few hours of respite when he takes a nap and some days I end up continually tethered to the couch in a maze of feeding, dozing, moving to the crib or MamaRoo—where depending on his mood I get 10 minutes or 30 minutes to myself, another diaper change followed by more feeding…wash, rinse, repeat. And sometimes nothing gets done other than keeping the baby happy. It’s those moments that I wish just for a few hours of adult time, of wishing that I wasn’t breastfeeding. Wishing instead for that bottle of formula that takes longer to digest so I can actually get three hours between feedings instead of 1-3 hours depending on how much he felt like taking off of me at any given feeding. And then there are the other moments where I stare down at him, and he’s so adorable and hilarious as he’s searching to latch, with the cute faces he makes as he’s desperately looking for that thing that gives him milk. I told Chris he’s like a drug sniffing dog, he can sniff out that there’s milk in some proximity to his face if he’s laying on me. I really need to get a video (don’t worry, not showing that here!) of him latching on when he’s really hungry because it is hilarious. He’s like a magnet, drawn in completely and quickly, and then instantly happy once the milk flows.
So, I have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. I love it because I love seeing him so happy when he’s eating and he’s so adorable when he’s milk drunk and falling asleep, but I hate it because it tethers me down and is incredibly frustrating that I can’t share in the feeding with anyone else. Yes, I could pump and bottle feed, which is what we’re going to be doing eventually for during the day when he goes to daycare, but for now we felt it was best to strictly breastfeed (though we try to give him one bottle a day of pumped milk so that he doesn’t forget how to latch to a bottle for daycare in a few weeks). It’s frustrating since I’m the one who gets up at night to feed him, and since Chris is back at work now I am usually the one who stays up with him if he’s being difficult to get to sleep. The night time feeds are a little easier now that I stopped pumping at night (though I might bring it back here in a few weeks to built my stash up a bit more) and since he typically only feeds from one side at a time at night. However, sometimes I wish he’d drink from both sides so he would sleep a little longer and also to ease up on the pain of the other breast he doesn’t drink from. Now that I eliminated the pumping in exchange for more sleep I can get his diaper changed when he wakes and his feeding done in about 15-20 minutes, unless he’s being particularly difficult and falling asleep on me but waking up when I put him in his cradle, then sometimes we battle for 30 minutes to an hour. Sometimes he also needs some comfort nursing and no one else can do that. We introduced the pacifier a week or so ago to work on that comfort nursing and that helps but only in certain circumstances and he doesn’t always like it. I know all of the frustrating times will be forgotten when I go back to work and am missing him and missing being able to feed him throughout the day, but it still doesn’t make it any easier when the frustrating times are happening in the present.
One thing I’ve been trying to figure out with him is a choking issue he seems to have at times when feeding. It scares the crap out of me when it happens, and I flip him up to my shoulder and pat his back and try to get him to cough and breathe. I did some reading on the issue and it seems likely that my let-down is more forceful than he can handle at times. It makes sense, as I can hear the milk enter his mouth and he just gulps it as fast as he can. From my reading it seemed that the laid-back position is best for trying to ease up on the flow, letting gravity taper off some of the force. That position seems to help a lot when I need it but I don’t always need to use it.
I didn’t really mean for this to be focused on breastfeeding, but since that seems to be what defines me these days that’s what I’m writing about. I actually had a lot of other things to write about but I’ve forgotten what they were between starting this post and dealing with Forest throughout the day. So, here’s some more photos from today’s photo shoot and from the week.
I’m figuring out this Moby wrap thing, mostly so I can carry him out when I go to hang the diapers. It’s really too hot to carry him in at the moment. It’s probably good for indoors but I haven’t found the need to use it inside yet and he’s usually sleeping in the car seat/carrier when I am out and about. I need to try our Ergo carrier soon.
The only way I was going to eat breakfast one morning.
FYI: Overalls aren’t really that great for changing diapers.
Few things for the breastfeeding: Why not try him on both sides of the breast at night? Will he not take the other? You don’t want to get too engorged because that could lead to other problems. With the forceful let down, you could try pumping just a little before feeding and see if that helps. Your flow will regulate itself soon but perhaps something to try?
Hang in there. Make sure you’re taking good care of yourself and letting other know if you’re getting too run down.
He usually falls asleep after the first side, which is why I don’t force the second side. It’s kind of a pain to wake him up and he seems satisfied with the one side. Now, if we have issues getting back to sleep I switch him to the other side. So far I seem to be ok if he doesn’t feed on both sides, just a bit painful to lay on my stomach or side, but if it seems to turn into anything else I’ll try pumping.
What a cutie. That yawn!
We’re going to be down there next weekend and I’d love to somehow get over to see you guys, but I’m afraid we may be tied down the entire weekend (Indian wedding with multiple events).
I hope things continue to get smoother for you both!
He us beautiful Misti! I think he looks like you : )
Oh I miss him! I need a Forest fix!!! He does look like you Misti!
I so love your descriptive writings!!
Love your honesty! Motherhood is tough and you sharing your honest everyday experiences is so refreshing! So proud of you momma!! Sounds like you are in the bfeeding groove–figuring it out/experimenting/staying flexible. Umm overalls too cute!
Such a cute little face 🙂