Wednesday, March 19, 2014

First night(s)

Our first night went a lot better than my first night with Bumpus. This is largely because Theo and I can breastfeed whereas I had to syringe feed B formula the first few nights. I just remember the puddles of foul-smelling formula on my nightstand, the sticky tissues, B finally clamping his lips shut when he just plain didn't want any more, me wracked with anxiety and up literally all night making sure he was still breathing. Contrast this with a very peaceful night with T waking every three hours to eat and me actually sleeping in between, and we have example #5,278 of why the second time is easier!

A couple of things became clear last night - I need a night light (this room is pitch black with the lights off), and as much as I'd love to use the neat looking Moses basket for T to sleep in, I think he's going to be in bed with me for a while. He just slept much better with my nipple in his nose. 

The first night there was some screaming and frustration getting latched on (on his part! Although I was screaming on the inside), but last night he did much better. Which is good, because B's bed is just on the other side of the wall, so every time T gets really loud, B wakes up and makes the same noises (he seems to like to imitate the baby's noises).

My biggest problem right now is horrible engorgement, the worst I've ever experienced. My boobs are huge, rock hard, look like they want to launch off of my body, and extremely painful. I had T's follow up appointment yesterday and the LC (different one!) came to see me, and agreed I must do something to relieve the swelling and over supply. She recommended cold packs and pumping. It's like weaning all over again! I think my body thinks I had triplets. But it's really a problem - I'm in lots of pain all of the time, baby wearing (although essential) is hard, and even feeding is hard because my nipples are all flattened out from the pressure, and sleep is tough because just like with the pregnancy I can't sleep on my back or front.  I am also leaking rivers and going through several shirts a day. Thanks goodness a friend gave me a box of breast pads. In the meantime, finding time for long hot showers and making ice packs and pumping has been almost impossible. I hope this misery subsides soon.

So I have today and tomorrow with my sitter doing days, then the baby kennel Saturday,'s just us. I am scrambling to figure out how to manage our days. How on earth do I keep this rambunctious two-year-old occupied all day and care for a newborn??? This morning was a nightmare of tantrums and kicking and screaming. I almost lost it - felt that old anger rising in me, and wanted to either haul off and smack him, or throw him in his room and leave him there. Thankfully I did neither - I walked away and went about my business and eventually he calmed down and ate his breakfast. I don't know why in those heated moments I always forget that "do not engage" is the best plan. 

So I think now would be a great time to invest in some indoor play areas (easier to tend to a newborn in a controlled environment like that). They could really save my butt. I also last night got in a frenzy of social networking - finally answered all the requests from people wanting to visit. I had one look at my completely empty calendar and freaked. I need company, and fast. Since I can't leave the babe with anyone for some weeks, my nighttime activities are pretty curtailed. So I'm just going to need people to come over and entertain me in the long evenings. This will help keep the walls from closing in.

Theo is a week old today, and doing great. Got a clean bill of health from the doctor yesterday, which gives me confidence about starting to take him out soon and not feeling quite so house bound.


  1. For what it's worth (ie, I don't know if you could find the time or whether it would work for you), what finally got me past the crazy engorgement phase was sitting in a hot bath and hand expressing. I was pumping anyway, since M was in the NICU, but it never really made a difference. Theo is a cutie, and I'm glad to hear things are going fairly well so far!

  2. Cabbage leaves inside your bra (or on your breasts without a bra) is supposed to help with engorgement. I remember my sister trying this and saying it helped. She looked a little like the Little Mermaid, so there's good entertainment value in it, too!

    Of course, when I was engorged and had a newborn, the idea of being organized enough to get cabbage, even to send someone out for it, seemed impossible.

    I thought that engorgement was supposed to be less the second time around! That's disheartening.

  3. I second the recommendation for hand expressing in a hot shower/bath. I had this problem quite frequently with my daughter (along with regularly clogged ducts/milk blisters), and applying hot washrags, then doing the massage/expressing in the shower would beat the pain back.

    I'm sorry this is so hard right now. Glad you have some friends coming in to help distract! Good for you for taking that proactive step.

  4. OMG. I had my friend's newborn and my toddler for about 5 minutes total the other day, and all I could think was... there's no way I could do this!!! Waiting for Jo Jo to be school aged before I consider a 2nd!

  5. Theo is so gorgeous! I hope your boobs simmer down and your supply:demand evens out a bit - so miserable! I am also sending you my best wishes for a smooth transition to parenting two! t I am really glad to be out of the baby stage - I love babies but damn it is so much work. Hang in there.

  6. Oh man! That just hurts thinking about it. I never had that engorged feeling because I never made enough milk for Sidekick from day one. I just couldn't get my supply up which was so frustrating for me. Breast feeding is so. damn. hard! (I was never one of those people who loved it. Between BF and pumping, I was hating every moment.) Hope your boobs cooperate better than mine. : ) Glad you guys are all settling in!

  7. Glad you have more confidence this time around & that it's going pretty well. Hope your engorgement subsides quickly. I too found the hot water a relief but I'm not sure when you'd find the time with a newborn & a toddler...maybe after B goes to be, you & T could bath together? T is just precious!