Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The First Weeks and Stuff

Everyone says "Sleep when the baby sleeps"....seriously, everyone. You know what no one says? "Cry when the baby cries".  Maybe it was my less-than-stellar birth experience, or a surge of hormonal changes, or extreme exhaustion, but every single time Jackson cried in the first few days at home I felt like the worst person in the world and wanted to cry myself. Lots of times I did. 

You know what's hard? Breastfeeding. So many people make it sound like its the most natural thing in the world and like it will come so easily. We started struggling in the hospital but then there were nurses round the clock coming in to see how it was going; including one determined nurse who busted in at about 2:00 in the morning and wouldn't rest until she had a plan for us that involved a shield, a strict schedule, immediate pumping and syringe feeding after letting him nurse for a while. It didn't get better at home. He started to gain weight back, but is not back to his birthweight yet at two and a half weeks which is like a punch in the gut. 

I went to a breastfeeding support group this week. When we walked in, there were women with their babies (all older than Jackson by quite a bit) sitting in a circle on the floor with their shoes off. As is my luck, my kid started crying as soon as the group started. I took him out of the room and tried feeding him. Because even though it was a nursing support group, I am not yet comfortable whipping my boob out in a room full of people. Two women and the LC came out to check on us and encourage us to come back inside. I guess anything is better than sitting on the couch and crying into the boppy wondering if the baby who keeps falling asleep at your chest is getting enough to eat. 

When Jackson was born, the pediatrician noticed and pointed out to us that there was a ridge on the top of his head. He said that it was caused by two plates in his skull that were closing prematurely. This week I stood behind a glass window and watched as some ladies held my screaming infant son down for head x-rays. After that I had to call and make an appointment for him, my two-week old baby boy, with a neurosurgeon where we will discuss options like a helmet or maybe surgery. 

Justin is back at work full time now. Monday was our first day home alone and it was a 14 hour day. The concept of time is pretty much nonexistent to me right now. All I know is "how long since the last feeding?" My days vary from needing to wake him up to eat and being locked to the couch because he wants to eat all the time. If I'm energetic enough to shower at 5:30 am before Justin leaves, I toss one pair of milk-soaked pajamas onto the floor to exchange them for a clean pair that are destined to the same fate. 

Time to make a decision; the baby is finally napping. Looking at the clock, it's only an hour until he needs to eat again and despite how much I wish I didn't have to, I have been advised not to let him go more than three hours without feeding and will need to wake him up. Do I finish my breakfast (a half eaten turkey sandwich that I made over an hour ago, and a coke)? Or watch the episode of Nashville that I've been watching for three days because between diapers and crying that can only be soothed by walking laps around the dining room singing, I have no idea what's happening? I think this time I will take everyone's advice, set an alarm just in case, and sleep while the baby is sleeping. 


  1. Oh my gosh, you poor thing. What a rough few weeks and I'm sure they've both flown and dragged horribly. Praying for things to get better ASAP!!

  2. These newborn days are so hard. Why some kids have harder times than others is beyond me and it's just so unfair. The same goes for breastfeeding.

    I'll be praying for you guys that all goes well with his sweet little head.

    Have you tried using a carrier, swing, or vibrating chair when he's fussy? Maybe they'd be able to give you a little break so you can shower while the sun's up. And if you have and they don't, showering is way overrated anyway. Dry shampoo and baby wipes are a mother's best friend.

    You're doing a great job! The newborn days feel like an eternity, but they pass sooner than you'd think.

  3. I just want to hug you and sob with you. I am so sorry. I remember those days so well and the constant crying (mostly from me). I feel you on breastfeeding. I felt like I was in nursing hell for 7 weeks until one day things just got better. I cried every single time I had to nurse. I mean SOBBING. For weeks. I completely understand and I wish I could help. Just know you're not alone in this. Do what you need to do. I will be praying for your sweet baby's head. That's just traumatic when everything is already so hard and hormonal. I promise these hellish days will end.