When I was in the final stages of pregnancy and reading up on baby's first year of life, the biggest hurdles that I anticipated in the months ahead were sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, and getting my body back. The first month of Morgan's life definitely left me shattered by the lack of sleep. Zombie form obtained, no doubt. My own Mom's 10 days with us coupled by Lee's incredible patience (not my best trait) got us through and once we formed a nightly routine + introduced the dreamfeed...I must to say I'm functioning fine on my 4.5 & 3.5 hour chunks of Zzzs. We start our morning around 7am and I am able to shower most days. High fives to that. Aside from M's little curled under lip in the hospital (thank god for my LC notes and the midwestern salt of the earth woman from The Pump Station on YouTube), breastfeeding and my supply have been easy breezy. Morgan is a speed demon eater (10-17min MAX) and the burping is getting better. I've lost muscle tone in my legs and arms but I'm happy with my weight bounce back...I anticipated much more of a struggle. (::takes bite of delicious cake from Abbey::) I burn 500-900 calorises a day making milk. It's fine.
But as life often does, the newborn curveballs thrown our way were ones I had not anticipated in the least. I had friends tell of babies with reflux and thought it was something very few infants dealt with, something that wouldn't even be on our plate once Morgan arrived. I mean hey, we had breastfeeding down right? If she's full, she'll sleep well...and we will be golden (side eye to my former self.) Two dear friends had near perfect babies that seemed to just eat-play-sleep and giggle all day. Perfect Babywise kids. The Facebook effect of my extended friend network posting hundreds of munchkin smiles had me thinking that was the only thing I'd be longing for come 6-8wks when in fact I just wanted 5min of her being content, happy and comfortable. The thing of it is...she isn't wailing or crying for hours. She's just fussy, hates being still and wrangles her body as you can imagine her last meal making its way through her tiny system. It's a full three ring circus to get her bounced and swaddled perfectly so that she's stable enough to digest and sleep at the same time with Lee & I being the only ones to know the exact method to the madness. (Friends couldn't even stop by and hold her for a few minutes as she would wail in another's arms.) "Sleep begets sleep" as all the baby whisperers say and little M is/was still fighting to be comfortable after a feed to get through one sleep cycle before the acidic saliva bubbles on her lips and she winces in pain. I have no doubt it's been harder on me than her to watch. After taking note of all her symptoms, the doctor suggested we go on baby Zantac which basically reduces the amount of acid secreted by the stomach thus allowing any erosive esophogitis to heal (hey I was a pharma rep remember!) Her starting dose was a bit low and showing very minimal improvement in her post meal reflux so we took it up to 2ml BID and we've been sitting pretty ever since...yesterday. I know, I know...a whole 48hrs of angel baby bliss is nothing to write home (blog) about but it feels like we just won a marathon. SOMETHING is working and I could just cry in elation of the fact.
6 weeks old and figuring it all out one 3 hour chunk at a time. Morgan was 11lbs 8oz on Friday at the doc's and if that isnt a win for comfort nursing I'm not sure what is ;) I know there will always be another hiccup around the corner but soldiering through this issue has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. Maybe this is just what motherhood is for these first 3 months of life: a total crapshoot (that noone talks about) and trusting your instincts. Parenting is really so primal! Here's to chunky babies, lots of leg rolls ...and getting through the heart ofa storm with the help of an incredible extended circle of mama friends. You are all amazing.
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I'm completely in awe of how a woman's body knows what to do once it is growing a child. I was a research fiend at first...trolling sites about the changes happening to me, the timeline of things, what each symptom could possibly mean, and how to prepare best during each leg of the journey. Was he/she bigger than an appleseed yet? Is it true you look "vein-ier" when pregnant? Sometimes it is comforting, often times it just creates unnecessary worry. But seeing that little nugget on a screen kicking its teeny tiny little legs and waving its hands...if anything takes your breath away, it's a moment such as that.
While in hiding those first 12 weeks, I kept a basic tracker on the high/low moments I found myself experiencing. It was a bit dramatic for a bit around these parts but am happy to report that all has been settled in that department :)
April 4, 2012
We found out we are pregnant!! I can't even fall asleep. I never want to forget that moment with Lee. His voice and how he hugged and held me. Overcome with emotion. Need to take pix of hpt. I've wanted this for so long. I can't believe my gut feelings were right!
April 9, 2012:
Im exhausted. Like can't sleep enough exhausted and not because I'm lethargic. I also feel like my blood sugar is spiking and falling faster. The shakes I seemed to notice from the past few weeks definitely had something to do with the pregnancy. Holy crap pregggggnancy. I don't believe it still. There's a constant blobby feeling down there, like I ate too much and can't suck in. There's no forseeable bump at all but it feels funny. My eyelids are droopy. I neeeeeed to get to a yoga class tmrw, my body just feels off, need a good sweat.
April 12, 2012:
I'm tired and want a glass of wine. No 3 glasses of wine. Working out helped today at least making my arms feel that good twinge of sore. Sometimes (most times) I don't feel pregnant, is there really anything on there? I'm counting down until April 30th for our first appt. seems so far away. And the December due date seems even farther!
Speaking of waiting what seems like eons...We've made the decision to wait until 12wks to tell family and friends(even our parents!) and keeping it a secret has proven very very difficult. The white lies make me nervy. How awful is lying to loved ones? Ugh. I can't wait to share the news, god willing, if everything goes well these next few wks. Gosh this all just seems surreal...
SKr and I sometimes talk about how nice it is to hide out. To shut off and hibernate in the simple things...make less plans and disconnect, knowing full well that you'll reemerge in due time with an excitement found in surfacing and catching up. I always have a strong sense of optimism and resolve after some down time and enjoy rejoining the bustle of the NYC routine. For some reason, I picture a swim to shore. A morning sunrise. A family gathering...to awaken a renewed sense of life after such energy conservation. It was a forced necessity in part this time, a moment that changed our lives forever, and set us on a 12 week journey of "shhhhh, it's a secret" mode. Lee & I were club of 2, soon to become 3. That's right...we are having a baby!
It's still pretty big news around here for us, and the "reveal" to family and friends has been one of unparalleled joy. (Fun annectdotes to follow soon...) I must say, we got SO GOOD at keeping this announcement under wraps that it almost felt a bit itchy actually disclosing the mention of our little nugget! But now, as the cat's out of the bag, and I'm 14 weeks along...it was (as I've been saying), HIGH TIME Baby Markle to be got some lovin' around here. He/She is finally giving me a break from the intense nausea/exhaustion that got the best of me weeks 6-9 so it's no longer grounded anymore when it makes its entrance into the world sometime around December 10th.
I feel so blessed, at peace, content, and overcome with gratitute for life and the happiness this little miracle has brought to us already...a tiny person...1/2 me, 1/2 Lee and most likely with a big ol' rump courtesy of both parents;)
ps: Here's a sneak peak at what I hope to continue for the length of the pregnancy and a glimpse at my super basic photo editing non-skills.