Motherhood is hard work!! Special mommies like so many I know make it look so easy, but it is tricky for us newbies! They say it gets easier around the 6 week mark; that feels both any minute now (can’t believe she is already 3 weeks on Monday!!) and a million years from now (especially on days where she wakes up every hour all night or day to feed).
My heart is a still sore that Brett had to return to work on Monday; the time we spent together over the 2 weeks he had off was some of the most special and meaningful time we have had in our 8 years together. I have learnt so much about him and what he is capable of since our daughter arrived and I feel cheated that he is now back to being at work and stressed out about that. I am not stupid, I knew it was inevitable and I absolutely get that this is life, but I am still allowed to be sad about it.
The c-section healing is also terribly slow going and still very painful if I do much more than lie around with Charly – even too much walking and rocking with her hurts & the meds are all gone barring Panado after the 2 week mark. I would settle for a few completely pain-free hours and would do anything for the ability to be able to just move without having to think about every muscle I might use. But much more about that when I eventually find the time to finish the c-section post; I have made notes whenever I’ve had a moment to make sure I don’t forget anything important when I get to finishing it, but it is slow going.
On the upside, Charlotte Rose, our little Charly Bear, is just so gorgeous! I stare at her for hours and I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that she is mine forever. I think as long as I am mostly bound to my bedroom – first c-s you are meant to try avoid stairs for as long as possible, especially if you are still experiencing pain and my bedroom is on the second floor, so I have been stuck upstairs like Rapunzel in her tower for almost 3 weeks now – it will remain surreal, because real life has not yet resumed.
As most of you know I have been having a bit of a rough week, I have had about as many hours of crying and feeling hopeless as feeling euphoric and in love with my baby. There are moments I wonder if there is anything to worry about (in the baby blues department), but then I look at what sets me off and they seem like logical triggers when considered with a huge lack of sleep and flying hormones trying to find their way back where they belong – things like Charly crying inconsolably because she is suffering from tummy troubles or not sleeping for more than a half hour for a day or two – I think hurting because she is hurting or fear that I am doing something wrong is normal in cases like that.
As I mentioned throughout my early blog ramblings, I have been terrified of the effect that the sleep shortage would have on me and for the most part I have been pleasantly surprised by how I am coping, but there are days (only kicking in this week) where I just cry because I want to sleep so badly and because that makes me feel horribly guilty, because in my mind the only way I could sleep is if my Charly wasn’t here and I don’t mean it that way, so that sets off the tears too. Basically our little tower world is very often filled with tears, both hers and mine.
Overall though, we are very blessed with Charly. So far (touch wood), she is much happier than she is tearful, though once she gets her cry on she really goes for it. It seems like her tummy troubles are the beginnings of constipation related as opposed to the many other terrible things it could be, and that is manageable with bicycling legs at 3am, winding, feeding (the clinic sister says the sucking helps as well as the soothing) and of course by me making sure I start adding more fruit and veggies to my diet since I am her food supply.
She has moved from very basic “being” to having the most amazing awake periods, at the moment one in the morning and one in the evening; and no matter how tough the rest of the day and night may be, she is calm and alert in those times which makes all the rest of the crazy worthwhile. Today we even read our first book and looked at the crazy pictures in “The cat in the hat”!
She is also growing well, having gained 335g from leaving the hospital to her 2 weeks visit, putting her above her birth weight and making the clinic sister very happy with her and me! We seem to have the hang of breastfeeding – YAY! Her latch is beautiful and strong, and other than a total of about 48 hours since my milk came in (better late than never), she seems to drink throughout sleepy periods with gentle stroking of her cheek, playing with her ear, tickling under her chin or me massaging the breast to get the milk to flow which gets her sucking again. My nipples are no longer bleeding or raw, but sadly they have not toughened up as yet and those first minutes are agony; but I love the bonding of feeding as well as the ability to do something for my baby that nobody else can.
I can honestly say that even in that moment when I used formula in drops to get her to latch in the first days home, when my fear was bigger than me, and even when I cry because the pain is so severe in early feeds, I have not considered giving it up. I can TOTALLY understand and respect why some mommies move to bottles and formula though, having been in those moments of pain and fear, and that isn’t even accounting for mommies who know they have to head back to office jobs a short while after having their babies; but personally, I am feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment at getting this one thing right in a sea of things I get wrong most days.
And that is all we have time for now, I need to get little miss up for a feed (today has been a wonderfully regular 3 hourly cycle). To come in the next while is a post that will be full of the most incredible professional photos of our little family, compliments of Portraiture by Heidi, with some commentary if I get a chance; I also want to pull some of the advice from my amazing Twitter followers that have saved me and kept me sane these past weeks and share them with those of you who use other mediums; and then hopefully I will finish the “big” one and have the c-section piece together within the next couple of weeks. My mommy retired as of today and will be spending the next month of weekdays visiting with us and helping me keep on keeping on, and one of the things I really want to do for myself is designate a little time every day to write and empty my head of all the crazy it is full of. Til then, thanks to all of you who are holding my hand through his difficult but rewarding transition, you are all so loved by someone who has never even met you!