Two weeks postpartum!
The days pass so quickly, and I’m bittersweet and nostalgic about it. Because each day that goes by is one I no longer have with my baby. I am so excited for him to start reaching milestones like lifting his head, focusing his eyes, and smiling, but those things come at the price of the preciousness of today. I’m trying to cherish every moment, but no matter how much you pour into the present, it’s still going to pass! I hope this feeling is just part of normal baby blues and I won’t feel it so acutely with time, but I have a suspicion that watching your baby grow up (not without some grief) is the human condition—a permanent piece of motherhood. At least I’m not taking a single moment for granted.
This kid is not photogenic, that’s for sure. I wish you could all see how adorable he is in person, especially the wide-eyed, open-mouthed expression of awe he routinely exhibits, but the camera adds 10lbs, his eyes cross, and his hairline recedes, the moment a lens is before him! Plus, he’s been peeling and has a case of baby acne, so his alabaster newborn skin is kaput. For now, it’s a face only a mother could love! His umbilical cord fell off at 12 days though, so soon he’ll be ready for regular baths and perhaps his hormones will level off, giving him sweet baby skin again.
Erik went to work on Wednesday and Thursday, and it went totally fine. As he kissed me goodbye the first day, he paused, rewiring his autopilot, then kissed Lucian at my chest, and teared up, saying, “Now I have to say goodbye to two of you.” When he got to work, he sent a text saying it felt strange to leave us behind, that he missed us already, and that he was glad to be easing back into work, rather than diving right into a full work week. We missed him too, since the energy around the house is lackluster without him, but it went fine otherwise. Just one more routine to check off our list during this time of transition.
The postpartum body is a strange thing. Admittedly, it’s a source of some grief for me. And that sense of grief is totally new, since I’ve always felt good in my skin. It was easy to feel like the Goddess of Fertility while pregnant, and that sense of triumph lasted for a few days postpartum, but no one could possibly enjoy the literal feeling of being deflated, which is the reality of postpartumhood. I was glad to see that medical-grade compression belts are a qualified HSA purchase, and mine is definitely speeding along spine alignment and uterine shrinkage. But it doesn’t have any impact on the stretch marks, the linea nigra, the outtie belly button, or the loose skin! I’m trying to keep things in perspective though… namely, that it could take 9-12 months to regain a “normal” figure (which could be moot, if I get pregnant with #2 by then). Still, a postpartum body is definitely in a category of its own, lacking the glory of both the unpregnant and pregnant body. I don’t feel disgust or desperation, but resignation. Not the best option, but not the worst either.
For a few days, we were having some nursing struggles (perhaps coinciding with a growth spurt). I would offer the breast every time he fussed, but he either would fall asleep at the breast within five minutes, or nurse for a solid hour, then act hungry 20 minutes later. Repeat for about three hours, while he would get increasingly frantic and I would increasingly need a break, until I gave him some formula, he drank 2+ ounces, and knocked out for 2-3 hours. I couldn’t figure out if there was a problem with my supply (not likely), or if his digestion was ridiculously fast, or if something else was going on. But in the two days Erik was gone, I figured it out. He’s finally displaying that infant need for constant physical contact (rather than sleeping in his crib without a peep), so I’m trying to wear him in the Baby K’tan carrier all day. What results is a deeper, more restful sleep, and longer, more active feedings, so he’s nourished and rested, which makes for a happy baby when awake! I’m grateful to be hitting our stride, two weeks in.
Next week, my in-laws come to visit. It’s their first visit to DC, and it will be such fun to show off our beloved baby and our beloved city.