Thursday, May 20, 2010

Leo's First Week

I am so incredibly tired. This week has been a rollercoaster. We are crazy in love with this little man and can just stare at him for hours - at the same time, I'm seeing why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. It's such a shame that this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime, fleeting time has to be enjoyed through a haze of exhaustion and pain. It's been a bit of a blur - and honestly I'd much rather be sleeping or staring at Leo right now than posting, but I want to make sure I record a few details before it all runs together.

Sunday - Day 1
Once our precious baby joined us earthside and we were cleaned up and filling out paperwork - I asked my family to bring me strawberry pancakes from Pamela's. We were home just six hours post birth and little Leo got to meet jb's side of the family. Leo was pretty much passed out for 24 hrs. after the birth, which we should have taken advantage of to get some sleep, but we were on such an adrenaline rush that we mostly just stared at him.

Monday - Day 2
We had a follow-up nurse home-visit for both Leo and I. The soreness began to hit me as the adrenaline wore off. My mom and Aunt Fanny (Aunt Fanny is Muffy's chosen name for Leo to call her) came by with lunch.

Tuesday - Day 3
Big outing day. First the pediatrician, then voting (I wish I had a picture of Leo voting with jb at three days old, but alas that pesky no camera rule). For dinner we went to Abi's (Abi is my mom's chosen name for Leo to call her) and had an awesome feast of veggies, fish and rice.

Wednesday - Day 4
I had a home visit from the lactation consultant, which was helpful, and timely because I was already getting super frustrated and almost ready to introduce formula. My hormones crashed something awful. We had some neighborhood visitors stop by the cafe to meet Leo.

Thursday - Day 5
Back to the pediatrician for a weigh in - he was still was not gaining, but had not lost any more weight which was encouraging. Katerina (my godmother) and Aunt Fanny came by for lunch and we had awesome chinese take-out and cupcakes. We got ambitious and walked down to the Greek Food Festival for dinner. The walk took a lot out of me, but it was nice to take Leo out for a casual meal and feel like we were getting some date time in.

Friday - Day 6
The lactation consultant came back for another home visit. I got a lot of sleep thanks to daddy (daddy is jb's chosen name for Leo to call her) picking up just about everything. Uncle Daniel came to see Leo. There was Brunton's chocolate milk back in my life after a dry spell (every where was out of it for the last two weeks of my pregnancy!!)

Saturday - Day 7
Leo made his cafe debut and met some of the regulars that hadn't come by yet. We took a lovely family nap. My Aunt and Uncle came by after the shop closed to meet Leo. Leo ate a whole bunch and fell into a deep sleep and jb and I were able to watch a TV show together and steal a bit of a cuddle.

Things about this week that have been hard:
  • Breastfeeding - holy heck. I don't even know what to say about it that's not too awfully graphic, but it has been a real challenge. I know it's hard for a lot people, but I've got the extra challenge of having had a breast reduction (years ago) so it's been unclear what kind of success we could have with breast feeding, if any. I'm very proud to say that at this point we haven't needed to supplement with formula.
  • Pain - Not only are we using new muscles when we carry Leo making for aching arms and back, but also, my posture while breastfeeding isn't always ideal (especially if it's a particularly painful session). On top of that, while in labor I got through contractions by bracing myself against two walls, so the next day I felt like I had bench-pressed a car. On top of that the soreness of recovering from a vaginal birth and the pain associated with learning to breastfeed. Well, ouch.
  • Talula. Overall she is great and gentle with Leo - but she's also been acting out. She's had about an accident a day in the house which is just not what we want to be dealing with. In the last day or so she has calmed down a bit, so here's hoping it's getting better.
  • Not having the same time with jb. We've been very blessed to have very flexible (if busy) schedules over the last few years and we are spoiled because we are used to eating together, falling asleep together, relaxing a bit together, even taking naps together - but now we have to take turns doing most things and while we've managed to stay on the same team, we miss each other quite a bit.
  • The great hormone crash of 2010. Oh my goodness. It was so intense and so scary. Like drowning. I cried nonstop, about everything from how beautiful our baby is, to how I'm doing everything wrong. Luckily it cleared up in 24 hrs, and while there are still rough moments, I'm feeling pretty sane.
  • Lack of sleep. It just magnifies all the above and makes you feel so run down. And then it's just sad to feel the days slip by as you are just trying to keep your head above water. Getting out of the house helps, sunshine helps, good food helps, and well, of course rest.

The little things I don't want to forget:
  • Leo peed on jb
  • Leo pooed on jb
  • Leo spit up on jb
  • Hearing jb repeat "I'm a dad, I can touch poo" like a mantra over and over with the messier diaper changes.
  • I missed sleeping on my tummy so much!
  • Friends and neighbors have provided a constant stream of food, flowers, clothes, and support.
  • His "poof. poof. poof." and snorty breathing. This is already long gone, and thank goodness because were worried it might be a sign of respiratory issues, but man was it cute.
  • His billy goat fussing noises.
  • The bruising on his forehead and eyes and his poor little conehead that he wore as badges of his tough, if quick, birth.
  • His two faces - totally relaxed, passed out after a milk binge or grumpy old man.
Anyway, I hope yinz like baby pictures - because I can't stop taking and posting them.


  1. how very cute and wonderful!!

  2. holy junk sauce. This is amazing! Keep it coming! I am getting such a kick out of your blog!

  3. Don't worry - it does get better.
    First breast feeding sucks!! (hahaha)
    Really it will either get better or worse.
    Second after three months you will be a high functioning adult on only 6 hours of sleep.
    My oldest is 6 my youngest is 4 - six hours of sleep is still a good night for me.
    Take as many pictures as you can! They grow so fast!

  4. Oh I DO love baby pictures, I cant get enough of them! Beautiful little one. And I did LOL at jb's mantra :) So cute!

  5. He is SUCH a cutie. The beginning is hard, but his time like this is fleeting. Enjoy what you can!

  6. i love his grumpy face. and his passed out face. on to happy face!!

  7. Oh those early days. Breastfeeding is never as easy as you hope, even under the best circumstances. But it does get better. And easier. And less hurt-y. And if it doesn't, you just do what is best for your sweet little family, and don't look back.

    There is no help for the sleep deprivation, though you should try and sleep as much as you can when he does and take advantage of all kind offers from people who volunteer to hold your sweet baby for a couple of hours while you catch some shut-eye. You aren't taking unfair advantage of your helper because they get the wonderful opportunity to hold Leo without you interrupting. ;)

  8. You know...this kid's a natural. He makes some pretty weird faces. But if you let me take him under my wing...I could turn him into a real champion. I'll teach him how to make faces you only see in dreams. Give me a call if you're interested...