Killian's one month check up:
The nurse comes in and measures him...22 1/2 inches. She seems impressed with how big he is. She also comments on how calm and behaved he is for a baby. I'm all, "oh really?" (like I don't know he's awesome) She asks me to strip him nude for a weigh in. (This was my moment...the moment where I find out if I've been doing well or not. Were all those sleepless nights worth it? Was I going to have to give my boobs a stern talking to?) Dr. Kim comes in and looks at the scale...looks at his chart...looks at scale...looks at his chart...
"So it looks like he's gained just over 3 1/2 pounds... in the past 3 weeks? Hmmmm...that can't be right. Lets go into the other exam room and try another scale." Cut to other room...
He laughs. "Wow... 11 lbs 10 oz it is...So I take it he's eating well?"
Me..."Ya I guess so...I mean he eats a lot. Is that bad?" (I'm just playing with him...google already told me you can't feed a breastfed baby too much.)
It's ridiculous, but I found myself standing there, actually hoping for some proverbial badge of validation from this pediatrician. All I wanted was to hear him say how much better my baby was than all other babies...that Killian was "advanced" "super healthy" or "genius". lol I can only assume that every mom comes in there trying to tell the doctor of all the milestone's their baby has achieved like we'll win some prize.
Him... "No, I just haven't seen a baby gain that much weight so quickly ever. I mean wow...almost 12 pounds! Good job, mom." (All I hear is..."Can we get a breastfeeding badge in here for Kristen and her amazing baby?")
The point of this story is...my baby is so fat, his doctor thought the scale was broken. Also...after all my insecurities of milk production it seems I'm doing just fine. You hear that Killian? Punch my boob all you want...you ain't starving.
ME AND MY BODY:
At whatever o'clock in the morning, when you're breastfeeding and trying your best not to fall asleep and roll off the armchair like a drunk college girl who's had too much tequila, you open your phone...and google stuff.
*am I feeding my baby too much?
*6 weeks baby acne normal?
*6 weeks baby cluster feeding still?
*6 weeks baby sleep training?
*gluten free waffle recipe
...no matter what you search... you'll end up on "how to increase milk supply". Its gotta be every new breastfeeding mother's worst nightmare. "What if I run out? How can I make more? How can I build a stash? How can I get a badge for breastmilk production from my pediatrician" You'll find a lot of information. You'll also find scary information about oversupply...so you'll decide to just choose a few and not go crazy. I chose 2...Oatmeal and Fenugreek. While it might've increased my supply...(I'm not sure if you heard, but my baby is 11lbs 10oz.) It definitely did something else though. You probably noticed my waffle google search...well that's because Fenugreek turns you into a Canadian hockey player's wet dream. (This is the only stereotype I know about maple syrup so forgive me) You will sweat maple syrup, cry maple syrup and yes...pee maple syrup. I have no answers for this witchcraft, but what I do know is...I no longer wear deodorant. No, I just wear the sweet nectar and claim it as my personal body oder. Oh what's that Anthony? You think I smell sweet? oh that's so weird...it's just how I've always smelled.
133lbs...5 lbs from my pre pregnancy weight. I could take a bunch of flattering photos and make it look like my body is worthy to be on the cover of Shape, but I don't want to set unrealistic standards for you OR for the next time you see me in real life...so here's what I looked like this morning. No shower...no make up...no flexing or sucking in...no photoshop. This is me. The pooch is real. Yes those are nursing pads you see through my bra...that's so I don't leak all over myself. Sexy, huh?
Look at me...only 6 weeks in thinking I'm some sort of boob ninja. I'll spare you the details, but I organically discovered a new breastfeeding position...one that's hands free and perfect for the lazy mom who needs two hands to type her blog. When I first started breastfeeding just mere weeks ago...I was so in over my head. Everything was new and uncomfortable...and painful. We were like two very awkward teenagers smashing our bodies together, hoping for the best. But now? Its like "Can I take this act to America's Got Talent"? Cuz I'm the Dr.Suess of breastfeeding. I can do it on a train, a plane, in a box, atop a fox...Every time I feed, it gets easier and more relaxing. I get better...he gets better. I guess my words for all you mothers out there...you will master it in no time. You too will become a boob ninja.
I mean where was this position when I was healing from my stitches and could barely sit up? WHERE WAS IT, INTERNET???
I guess there's a lot more postpartum stuff going on than I had originally thought. I was very emotional leaving my OB's office this week after my check up. My prenatal appointments had been this huge build up. Finding out I was pregnant...first time I saw his heart beat, heard his heartbeat, first ultrasound, finding out he was a boy...so many milestones...so many check ups that became more and more frequent...building up to the big day. Everyone asking how was I doing? How was I feeling? It was all about me...this vessel for a human life. Here I was... doing this very important thing and people cared. Not just at my appointments, but everywhere. People held doors for me, let me cut them in line, and the time I tripped and fell?…the whole parking lot came running to my aid. I felt special, but then it all just... stops. Suddenly, you're just this random 30 something woman walking around with a baby and pudgy stomach. No one makes room for you, no one opens the door and no one certainly cares how tired you are, how sore you are or how lonely you are. The magic leaves...and its quick and without warning. There I was leaving my OB appt...crying. I actually looked forward to this appointment since the day I gave birth...hoping for a glimmer of that pregnancy special treatment I always got. Don't get me wrong, my OB and nurse were amazing and kind, but the magic was gone. As he said, "You're healing perfectly"...I felt like saying "So that's it?" Felt like a breakup... Realizing it's all come to an end ...this whole process...not the horrible pregnancy symptoms...but the pregnancy part...the growing a human part...it was over and it really made me sad. I was just me now.
I remember one time...a week after giving birth I was struggling pretty fierce... making my way to the couch... one penguin waddle at a time, when Anthony got frustrated. I was blocking his FIFA game "with my struggling". He actually huffed, "Come on!" (I'm going to give all of you guys a minute to let that soak in)
...Don't get me wrong... milli seconds after saying it he quickly realized the error of his ways, but that's such a good example of everyone's attitude postpartum. So you're good? You're good now right? When are you gonna start exercising? When are you gonna have another? When are you going to go back to work?
There is no come down. It's a steep drop and it isn't easy. Here you are exhausted, in pain, hormones all over the place, overwhelmed by being a new mother, insecure if you're doing anything right...and everyone just wants to treat you like you're back to you're old unimportant self. I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I understand why all these child actors and has-beens end up doing drugs or dead in a nightclub. Here you are...at the height of fame and attention...everyone cares what you're doing...what you're eating...every move you make is on the cover a magazine... and then all of a sudden no one cares anymore. Anyways...just some very real thoughts I wanted to get out.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: I'm not sure that I need to explain this picture...
LOW POINT OF THE WEEK:
I woke up, made my way to the nursery, unzipped his sleeper and what was before my eyes was terrifying. I didn't know if my eyes were deceiving me... I hadn't turned on the lights...and it was "dusk"...so maybe I wasn't seeing this properly. Maybe I was delirious, but it LOOKED LIKE...there was seedy poop all over him...like on his belly, his chest, his hands...his neck? I'm like no...no way. I mean that's impossible. I turn on the light. What! Is! this! That is certainly not poop...that is CRYSTILIZED DIAMOND LOOKING PEICES ALL OVER MY SON'S BODY. What in God's name is going on? Is my baby Superman? Does he poop diamonds? Is something wrong with his skin? Is he dying?!?! Honestly, I know this sounds funny, but I was absolutely terrified. I shouted for Anthony...he came running faster than a bride with the shits on her wedding day...headed to the toilet. I'm like WHAT IS THAT? CALL THE DOCTOR!! He's all calm..."Oh psssh ...that's just when the diaper explodes. Happened to me a couple times. The diaper explodes and all the things that soak up his pee just crystalize. I googled it."...."oh" I know this sounds funny...but in that moment I thought my baby had a strange diamond disease.
OR...at my 6 week appt...my OB was checking out the goods, doing a mini pap smear type looksee and then he's all, "oh by the way I have to check your rectum" (AS HE STICKS HIS FINGER IN MY BUTT). I love how he just tells me as he's already doing it. He mustve thought he was a magician who had mastered the art of misdirection...and he would be correct. I was surprised. So this kind of goes hand in hand with things I did not know, that you should definitely know.
THINGS I DID NOT KNOW, BUT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY KNOW:
You can see a baby's heartbeat on their head...on the soft spot. Killian and I were playing and I noticed his soft spot started throbbing and I was like omg...what the hell? Google, google, google...its his heartbeat.
Poop can get trapped in fat rolls.
Milk also gets trapped in fat rolls...and curdles...and basically smells like something no one should ever smell. Whatever you do...do NOT smell it. Repeat...do NOT smell it.
Big advances this week. I get smiles...lots of smiles, which makes things so much better. I've felt like I was talking and playing with a flesh colored log the past few weeks. Sometimes it felt awkward and I'm like, "What am I doing? He has no idea what's going on."...but now he's locking eyes and smiling and having opinions on the stories I read him and games I play with him...and songs I sing him. His muscle strength is insane. He does pull ups when I hold his hands, bears his own weight when we "jump" and crawls to my boob when I'm burping him b/c "he's not done yet, MOM". Every day, he's doing something new.
Wednesday we put him down at 8PM. I fell asleep at 8:30PM (it was epic)... at 1AM my eyes shot wide open. I frantically nudged Anthony...Did you do the midnight feeding??? I didn't subconsciously hear you feed him... "No...he didn't wake up" "Omg...it's been like 5 hours, you think he's ok? ... Anthony and I were like the mom and dad from Home Alone on the plane when they realized they left Kevin at home. We were two crazy people sprinting to the nursery. And there he was...breathing...and sleeping...looking smug. All I ever do is pray for him to sleep through the night...and then he sleeps just a couple hours longer than normal...and I can't sleep. I went back to my bed and laid there wide awake with my boobs twitching...waiting for him to cry for me.
Our roles have definitely shifted. He's slipped back into his normal life of work, working out, producing music, watching football... Nothing has changed...But my life? My life looks like it ate my old life and shit it back out after bad Mexican food...or crystalized all over my stomach, because apparently that is a thing that happens and omg I'm still weirded out by it. Anyways, all week Killian and I get into this routine...and then on weekends there's this other person. I get use to being on my own and meticulously fitting every single thing into my day... and then Anthony is all "what do you want to do today, lets get out of the house?" and I'm like ummmm didn't you get the memo? We don't leave the house. We play...poop...nurse...do dishes...do tummy time...but we certainly do not leave the house. While his life went back to normal, mine has done the exact opposite...so it's hard to find common ground. How do I tell him, I'm too tired to leave the house, I don't fit in any of my clothes, I'm not prepared for breastfeeding in public...that I'm not ready yet....
DOGS: I mean...
END OF THE WEEK THOUGHTS:
Let's be honest… every mother wants a daughter. The narcissist in you wants a miniature version of yourself. You want to dress her up with bows and tote her around like your newest accessory. And then you find out you're having a boy. You're lying if you say you're not slightly disappointed. Instead of girl talk it'll be about sports and farting. Instead of dresses...it's just...what? pants and a shirt. yawn. You say to everyone around you you didn't have a preference and you're just happy he's healthy, but you're disappointed. And then you meet him... and it all changes. I can NOT wait to talk about sports and farting... and viciously judge any woman that ever attempts to come into his life. I am both the gatekeeper...and Zul! I love that I have a son. You know how in high school when a group of women are hanging around one guy, we all turn into crazy catty bitches vying for his attention? Even if he's some weirdo you barely know? It's some instinctual thing...to be the one woman he chooses? Well when you're a mother of a boy? You are that woman...always. You are always the winner. I love that I'm a mother to a boy. It's unlike anything I ever expected. It's epic....and obviously... no wedding costs... so it's win-win all around.
And Its completely cliché, but 100% true… you will forget how horrible pregnancy was and how traumatic labor is. As far as both are concerned… I'd say I got the shit end of the stick, but only weeks later I can't for the life of me remember half of what happened. I cannot remember giving birth...or any of it frankly. It's like a hazy dream. So hazy I might do something crazy like entertain the thought of doing it again. Well played, human anatomy, well played.