Who knew that taking care of a baby, or more precisely, a newborn would suck up all my time and energy levels? Now I understand a few things: (1) The meaning of sleepless nights and (2) Why it is best to have kids before 35. Who would have the energy to care for a baby after that??
Anyway, thought I’d list down some things that I had to go through throughout Crystabel’s early weeks:
I’ve decided the moment we got the positive pregnancy test that I would breastfeed, because I belong to the school of thought that believes that ‘Breast is Best’. Although I am somewhat successful in this area, it didn’t come without its own set of challenges. First, there was the joy at knowing that my colustrum kicked in. Yayy…finally baby gets some food upon entering the real world! But the real worries came later, when my real milk came flowing in. Among the things that I had to deal with were sore nipples due to baby latching on every hour, engorgement if I did not nurse frequent enough, leaky boobs (not a pretty sight!). And the thing that irks me the most is when ppl ask, “Are you sure baby got enough to drink? Maybe she fell asleep and did not get enough…that’s why she’s up every hour crying to a feed.” While I truly appreciate the good intentions behind those questions, I somehow felt hurt and insulted at those questions. It’s as though I am not capable of producing milk for my baby, and what’s with the encouragement to pump and give baby the bottle at such an early stage? Oh, I forgot to mention that I am a firm believer of direct latching too. Well, call it the post pregnancy hormones playing games on me, or maybe it was just me being too hard on myself to do it well the first time in this whole breastfeeding thing.
Post Pregnancy Blues
Back to my last point…post pregnancy hormones. I seem to cry buckets of tears at almost everything and every situation! And it seemed that I couldn’t control those tears from coming, and I didn’t understand why. Even reading aloud prayers would send some tears to my eyes. I hope it’s normal…and according to the Johnson & Johnson booklet, it’s because our body is still trying to come to terms that we are not pregnant anymore. And so the imbalance of hormones brings about the tears. Still, wished I didn’t have to go through it. Am still battling with a mild case of the blues these days, though I think now is more of me trying to cope with motherhood.
Ok, this has got to be the longest month of my life….coz I simply cannot stand it! While I love and enjoy confinement food, I can’t stand the fact that I’m sweaty all the time (mind you, Dec is a pretty decent month to be on confinement with the cool weather). And I can’t stand that I am supposed to be wearing tops with sleeves and long pants. Urghh…I do not wear these items on any normal day anyway (unless it is super cold or smth), so what makes you think that I can stand wearing them during confinement? Thank goodness i sorta got away with wearing sleeveless at home, and only had to ‘cover up’ a bit after my massage sessions. And I was allowed to wear sleeveless when I went out, but with a shawl. Which I yanked off anyway when I got too hot! hahah
Hourly Night Feeds
Think this tops the list of the hardest thing to go through during this period. Yes, you got that right….waking up every hour in the night to feed baby. Could be growth spurt, or maybe baby just has got a huge appetite! Anyway, we were both extremely tired, sleepless and very cranky after a few days. And I even got a lil irritated at baby for waking up so often at one point, because clearly my body was giving way and could not take it much longer. Mind you, I had to breastfeed and then rock her back to sleep. Not an easy feat. So, I simply see this as me being human. Still love my baby to bits, btw.
Despite all these, there are lots to be thankful for at this point:
1) Her night feeds are improving, with her getting up every 2-3 hours to drink. This means i get to be more well rested. Think this pattern came about at around the 6th week.
2) She’s growing chubbier and heavier. Meaning I do have enough milk after all, and there was nothing to be doubtful or worried about. Now, only challenge is…how to get her to like the bottle as well. She developed this dislike at her 6th week…hmmmmm