Friday, August 28, 2015
Waiting for Normal
Nursing is still a work in progress. He had his fourth tongue clipping on Monday and had it stretched on Thursday, so he has been extra-clingy but no one can blame him. On his best day, he is not exactly what I would describe as "content," and no one has used the term "easy-going" about him. Still, we are all pretty in love with him, especially Jack. Lately we've discovered that Lochlan has special place in his heart for Jack, and he can usually calm him even when he's especially fussy. He also has an uncanny knack for getting Lochlan to burp, which is difficult even for us veteran baby burpers. We call it the "Jackie magic," and Jack is quite pleased with his new-found indispensability.
Lochlan loves the shower, but hates baths. Not a fan of his car seat AT ALL, strongly objects to lying on his tummy after eating, and has a complicated relationship with his binky. He weighs almost 11 pounds, and pees and poops constantly, especially when not wearing a diaper. He loves to look at lights of any kind, though he clearly prefers white twinkle lights to colored(he's his mama's son). He's on the verge of being able to "talk;" I can tell from the intensity of the faces he makes while he's staring intently at me, and his breathing gets really fast and he purses his lips and sticks out his tongue. His eyes are very, very blue.
He is a pretty decent sleeper, considering. He generally goes down for the night between 10 and 11, and wakes up every three hours until 6 or 7, when he gets fidgety and doesn't want to go back to sleep after eating. That's when he gets to go hang out with Jack for an hour or two while I get a little more sleep, a discovery which has been fairly life-changing. Mornings used to be pretty crazy since Aaron leaves for work around 5:30. Lochlan is usually ready to get up for the day around 7:30, so I give him his bottle and then would put him on the bed next to me while I pumped, with varying degrees of success/crabiness. Now, I feed him and then take him to Jack(who has been awake for some time already) and he watches cartoons while pacing around with Lochlan. I make my coffee and take it back to bed with me, where I pump and cruise facebook in relative comfort and peace. It is a luxury, and I bask in it because luxuries of any kind are few and far between these days. The other night I was praying with the boys before bed, and I thanked God for each of my boys. When I said "Thank you God for Lochlan," Jack added "even when he's cranky." Indeed.
All things considered, I think we're all doing remarkably well. Aaron and I are way better at having babies together than we used to be, and are enjoying Lochlan as much as we can for two people who can barely see straight by 8 p.m. My physical recovery from this birth was fairly rapid(pre-pregnancy jeans, baby!), and postpartum hormones have been a little gentler with the aid of progesterone. Incidentally, I think taking progesterone immediately after birth is also protecting my milk supply. By the time Jack was this age, pumping wasn't enough to keep my hormones at bay and my cycle came back. My supply tanked, and actually completely disappeared for one awful night. I pumped and pumped and Jack cried and cried, but I didn't produce so much as a drop of milk. I sent Aaron to the store for formula, but Jack refused to drink it. He eventually passed out, and was too tired to wake up all night. Early the next morning, I pumped and got 9 glorious ounces. I was able to keep my supply going for another three months, but had to start supplementing with formula after that.
Lochlan is almost three months old, with no sign yet of returning fertility. I'm sure I would have gotten my cycle back by now if it wasn't for progesterone, and even though protecting my milk supply wasn't the intended purpose of it I'm super grateful for that side benefit. If nursing doesn't work out for Lochlan, I'm not sure how long I'll keep pumping. I love that he's getting all the immune and digestive benefits of my breastmilk, but my goodness it's rough at night. It takes so much more time and effort than just lying in bed and nursing. Since he's my third baby, I'm less of a purist about how much formula he gets and when. I can tell you from experience that knowing your baby isn't getting enough to eat is way worse than knowing your baby has a belly full of formula. Still, we're going to try as long as we can. He does actually nurse, but still gets so much air that he has a tummy ache for hours afterwards. His latch improved dramatically after his last clipping, and I'm hoping that as he matures he will learn how to nurse more effectively. Even if he never nurses, he likely would have had other difficulties as a result of his tongue such as speech issues, teeth crowding and excess cavities. I'm ready to be done though. We've been home for seven weeks, and Lochlan has had at least one doctor appointment a week and most weeks two. I just want to stay home and snuggle my baby. I feel like we never really got a "babymoon," because we were in the hospital for the first three weeks and after that Aaron had to go back to work mostly full-time. I know bringing a new baby into the world is always a little difficult, but we've had more than the usual set of challenges and adjustments with Lochlan. I'm so looking forward to "normal," like being able to go somewhere without having to be back in three hours to pump, or lugging all my pumping equipment with me. We'll get there, eventually.