If you'd asked me a few weeks ago, I'd tell you unequivocally that I did not like newborns. Don't get me wrong, I love children. I especially love MY children, but if I could choose to skip over a phase then this would be it. With Big Brother, things just got better and better after the 4 month mark. The crying ramped way down, and the cuteness way up. So much interaction & discovery---you could actually play with him, in a more 2-sided way (vs just singing & making faces at your crying or ambivalent newborn). As the mobility & communication skills grew, so did my interest in my child. I just couldn't wait for all the milestones, and I was constantly amazed and surprised at even the most mundane aspects of development (eating the feet! solid foods! babbling!) I fell more and more in love each day.
I realized yesterday that I have 4 weeks left of maternity leave. I was surprised to find it made me anxious and sad. I am actually enjoying this maternity leave. For one, the weather is much MUCH better (remember the 2010 winter when news programs were throwing around words like "snowpocalypse" and "snowmegaddon"? Yeah that was my other maternity leave). I'm getting out of the house more especially on those lovely 60-70 degree November days.
Second, and likely more important, I am acutely aware of how fleeting it all is---this intense neediness, where I am fully responsible for his care, feeding, comfort every minute of the day and night---it won't last long. In a few short months he'll be (hopefully!) sleeping longer stretches & not in our bed. He'll be hurtling himself out of my arms to creep & crawl around the house. Few months later & he'll want to feed himself, "read" by himself, walk & climb the stairs by himself ("no helping mama!"). Breast will give way to bottles to sippy cups & regular food. Then the pieces won't need to be cut so small, and one day he'll be eating a whole banana, peeling it himself, then biting into a sandwich...all after climbing himself into the high chair and buckling it on his own (really! Big Brother does this.)
And thirdly. Oh the third reason is probably the most meaningful of them all. I'm sad for this all to end because this is almost certainly the last time for us. While I'd always wanted three kids, given my age & where we're at in life right now, it just doesn't seem logical. My husband has flat out said that he does not want any more children. Two children is a nice round number. I can live with that, but yet...
But yet, I find myself holding him more than he probably needs to be held, bringing him into bed when he'd probably fall asleep in the bassinet. I know I can't hold him back but I definitely want to hold him close.
The breastfeeding is actually working! We hit a breakthrough around week 3, when I tried nursing in the side-lying position & he actually latched on! So we did that for a while, and a couple of days later, I was at the lactation support group run by the LC I saw, and she got him to latch on in the cross-cradle hold while I sat on the floor, with no pillows or support or all that jazz. So I tried THAT later, just sitting on the bed---not the "nursing chair"---with no arm support or footstool. And it WORKED. We quickly got off the bottle-feeding, but I was still pumping since I wasn't sure when I'd need a bottle, and I built up quite the oversupply. Gradually was able to stop that (after a few clogged duct episodes that necessitated ramping up the pumping again). Now we are exclusively breastfeeding EXCEPT when he needs to feed in public---I always take a bottle with me because it still takes him a while to latch on and it may involve some screaming on his part, and milk leaking everywhere---not exactly a show I want to take on the road! I pump once a day, in the morning after his feed; additional pumping after he takes a bottle, also. I am now only filling one freezer bag per day (sometimes not even) vs. 4-6 7 oz bags/day. Which is good because my freezer is literally bursting.
My MIL left on Saturday so we are on our own for the first time in 6 weeks. It's actually going fine. It IS easier the second time around, since we already have a finely-tuned morning & evening routine, that can be easily be managed by one person. So we kind of switch off---one of us doing the usual with Big Brother while one of us (usually me) tends to Little Brother. Not sure if it'll get easier or harder when Little Brother becomes more of a real person (i.e. not an accessory that we can wear or put down in the bouncy seat at our convenience).
The colic. Oh the colic. Its tough to listen to the little guy scream as if he's being tortured---head back, tears streaming, body stiff---for HOURS at a time. I'm trying to be zen about it---I know he is not in any real pain nor is he purposefully trying to torture me, that I just need to try and soothe him until it goes away (3 months later!) & that it is no indication of future behavior or psychological issues (our very real fear with Big Brother---we were so sure that this was patently abnormal behavior that spoke to some sort of inborn personality disorder).
Talked to the pediatrician about it yesterday (we saw the new guy at the practice: young naive fresh out of residency, so cute!) & he agreed it sounded like colic though reflux is a possibility (I have a script for zantac just in case). We tried the antacids with BB; I was SO hoping he had reflux because then the medicine would MAKE IT STOP, but to no avail. I think I'll skip it this time. In a fit of desperation I DID order probiotics online (found some studies showing decreased crying vs. placebo and vs. mylicon in infants with colic). I gave the first dose today. We shall see. I also am off dairy this week to see if it helps. Blech. I like cheese a lot. In fact, I accidently had some the second day into the experiment. Went to meet some work friends for lunch---ordered the vegan burrito with vegan cheese & sour cream (tip--skip it. its neither sour nor creamy) yet the accompanying side salad was full of blue cheese crumbles & the "vinegraitte" had parmesan in it. Oops.
OK, the monster is stirring...better go pick him up! I am going to try to be more regular about posting, not that anyone is reading or anything :)