Saturday, November 17, 2012

The New Normal

We're settling in. Slowly. Some days feel like a gift, and others a chore. That is the way, I suppose.

Jackson is staying in school during the week and Matthew and I are holding down the fort at home. KB had the first week off, but because of some exciting once-in-a-career projects happening for him at work he's been back in the office this week. The part-time nanny is starting after Thanksgiving. Mama needs to make an appointment to get her straggly hair cut. And as soon as these cankles fully deflate, maybe a pedicure. Me-time. Not that having an infant on your tit or screeching through diaper changes every other hour isn't the best, but an hour or two here and there of solitude is bliss.

And the parents-of-two thing. It feels like we're each single parenting one child most of the time, but it's a game of divide and conquer. Jackson is still being lovely toward Matthew and likes to tell us when he's crying (in case we've become selectively deaf and can't hear it for ourselves) and tries to helpfully shove a paci in his mouth at random times. But every morning he runs into the baby's room to check on him (he calls him "my baby") and every night before bedtime wants to kiss him good night. It's sweet. What is not as sweet is the new tantrum phase Jackson has entered, which largely centers around getting into his carseat, getting dressed in the morning, and going to bed. He always capitulates as long as we (really, 99% KB) are patient and steadfast and ride it out for a few minutes. Like at bedtime, he throws a fit about getting into his crib and then merrily sings along to Daddy's goodnight song and crashes immediately. Another phase, maybe precipitated or exacerbated by the arrival of competition for attention. It's stressful, but we're all hanging in there and no one has completely lost their minds. Not yet. Stay tuned. There's always time for crazy to set in.

And Matthew. He's the anti-Jackson of newborns. Mostly quiet, happy to nap the day away without demanding I hold him the whole time, content in a swing or on a boppy. He hates being naked and having his boy bits wiped after a poop. Typical. He still isn't moving his left arm much, altough the bone should be healed/healing by now, but there's probably some nerve injury (the brachial plexus getting stretched is the most common injury after shoulder dystocia, followed by collar bone fracture, followed distantly by humerus fracture; FYI shoulder dystocia occurs in 0.5-1% of births and humerus fracture only in 4% of those cases -- stuck the landing on the shit side of statistics). Our orthopedic follow-up is on Tuesday and I'm hoping to see a healed bone on x-ray and that he'll confirm the nerve injury (they're calling it "pseudoparalysis" right now) will heal spontaneously over the coming weeks, which is true in 90% or so of cases. Need to be on the right side of statistics now. We paid our dues.

Not much sleeping for me, and it wakes KB up when I do the hourly feedings for the first half of the night. We get more sleep after around 1am or so, when my hungry hungry hippo sleeps for 2- or 2.5-hour stretches. He takes nice long naps during the day. I don't feel like a zombie in need of mainlined coffee during the day, which is my measure of acceptable sleep, so all is well. He'll start to sleep longer when he's ready. Not being clingy during the day offsets it a lot.

And then nursing. He still takes quite a few bottles of formula, but only because he seems to get so worn out by breastfeeding that he takes frequent breaks and/or gives up after 5 minutes or so. During the day I can be patient and let him do his nurse/rest/nurse/rest routine for a while, but if I did that at night I'd get zero sleep at all. Refer back to part about him being a hungry hungry hippo. He's getting a little better at nursing for longer periods every day, and he seems to really prefer nursing to the bottle overall, but he also never seems to get full from the boob. So we're supplementing and continuing to work on breastfeeding as best we can. He roots, latches, and sucks and swallows, so it's just an endurance thing. We'll get there. Or not. Whichever. As long as we feed the baby. And I'm just not willing to spend all my free time attached to a pump. Not this time. It made me a miserable human, and gave me mastitis. No thanks. A friend of mine had a similar issue with her first child (no L&D injuries, just a big, hungry boy) and supplemented for about a month or so, then didn't need to anymore. I'm hoping for something like that. Anyway, he's getting breast milk with all its goodies so there's that.

One day at a time. Only a few postpartum tears from time to time, and a beautiful family all around me. I'm doing alright. With some good news for Matthew on Tuesday, I'll be doing better.



Mina said...

Sounds like you're doing fine too.
The refusal to dress/do whatever they are supposed to is also typical for this age. Might be exarcebated a bit by Matthew's arrival, but I think it would have happened anyway. Stick to the routine and he will come around eventually.
Good for you for not beating yourself up with the breastfeeding. I remember the awful time you had with the bloody pump and I am glad to hear you are not going that route again.
Wishing for good news for you on Tuesday.

Cheri said...

Your birth experience sounds a bit harrowing. Hoping for the best on Tuesday for little Matthew. Hang in there on the rest of it all. Sounds like you're doing everything right. (As always.)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are doing what makes sense with regard to nursing. Just a little brush with the big M makes me shudder to recall what you've gone through. Very sensible. FUCK OFF, PUMP.

And boy am I relieved that M. is mellower. I hate to think of his tiny arm, and thank the baby jesus he doesn't require you to carry him around constantly, worrying that you're hurting him.

Like I said, I'm hopeful that some goodly portion of J's new tantrums is gonna be fleeting. It sounds really similar to what Bun Bun went through during the Big Change. Stroller, diapers, bed = WAAAAAH! So there's a really good chance he'll quit this craziness.

Anyways, high fives on still being alive. I'll be thinking of you guys tomorrow.