Saturday, April 30, 2011

24 Hours With a 3 Week Old--Saturday, April 30

9:00-10:00 PM ~ In-laws left.  Jesse, Jackson, and I watched TV downstairs on the couch
9:30-10:00 PM ~ Changed diaper, everyone put pajamas on, brushed teeth, snuggled up in bed.
10-10:30 PM ~ Fed Jackson in bed for 20 minutes.  Walked around bedroom to burp him.  Changed diaper.  Gave Jackson thrush medication and suctioned his nostrils.  Slept until 1 AM.
1:05-1:20 AM ~ Fed Jackson in bed for 15 minutes.  Walked around bedroom to burp him.  Changed diaper. Fell back asleep.
4:15-4:30 AM ~ Fed Jackson in bed for 15 minutes.  Walked around bedroom to burp him.  (I happened to see the clock at 4:28 so I sang "Happy 3 Week Birthday" to Jackson and reminded myself how amazing it felt to hold him for the first time.)  Slept.
5:30 AM ~ Jackson woke up fussy.  I knew he shouldn't be hungry, but couldn't find the paci, so I snuggled beside him.  He fell back asleep within ten minutes.  The three of us slept until 8 o'clcok.
8:05-8:30 AM ~ Fed Jackson in bed for 15 minutes. Jesse changed his diaper and clothes. 
8:30-9:00 AM ~ We ate breakfast while Jackson was in bouncer.  I took daily prenatal vitamin, probiotic, and stool softener.  (Dr. recommended to take Colace until stitches dissolve from tear.)
9:00-9:45 ~ AM Jesse talked to Jackson on couch.  I boiled pacifiers, checked e-mail, and started blog.
9:45-10:00 AM ~ Fed Jackson downstairs.  Burped him.

The view I most frequently have of Jackson--EATING
 10:00-11:00 AM ~ Jesse and I watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition while Jackson slept in bassinet downstairs.
11:00-11:45 AM ~ Jesse cut the grass while I changed Jackson's diaper, rocked Jackson, and attempted to watch my recorded Grey's Anatomy.  I definitely cried when Callie broke down at the end when they told her to go home with her baby.  I'm telling you, leaving the hospital was absolutely terrifying!
11:45-12:00 PM ~ Fed Jackson.  Couldn't get a burp.
12:00-12:20 PM ~ Put Jackson in the swing while I fixed/ate lunch, then washed dishes.
12:20-1:15 PM ~ Held and talked to a very alert baby.  Watched recorded Private Practice.  Changed diaper.
1:15-1:45 PM ~ I took a shower, got dressed, dried hair.  Jesse fixed lunch for himself and started a load of laundry with Jackson in the Ergo carrier.
1:45-2:00 PM ~ Fed Jackson downstairs. Jesse hung the clothes on the line.
2:00-3:00 PM ~ Jesse laid down with Jackson and watched Batman.  I worked on the blog and read Baby Center posts.
3:00-3:15 PM ~ Fed Jackson, changed diaper
3:15-4:00 PM ~ Visited with company
4:00-6:00 PM ~ Jesse went grocery shopping.  I fed Jackson, pumped 2 oz, watched TV, put Jackson in swing for 30 minutes, unloaded dishwasher, switched laundry, helped put groceries away, held Jackson, changed diaper.

Those storage bags are going to be the death of me!
6:00-7:00 PM ~ Jesse cooked dinner.  I researched storing/mixing breastmilk and best bottles to introduce.  Went through cabinets and nursery to find all the bottles we were given at baby showers.  Jackson became very fussy.  (He rarely takes a pacifier from me so I gave him to Jesse. 
7:00-7:15 PM ~ Fed Jackson, worked on blog
7:15-7:30 PM ~ Ate dinner at table while Jackson screamed in the bouncer until Jesse picked him up. (He hasn't napped since 11 AM.)

7:30-7:50 PM ~ Jesse changed Jackson's diaper and got his pajamas out while I did the dishes. Then we gave Jackson a bath and dressed him.  He cried the whole time.
7:50-8:05 PM ~ Jesse gave Jackson his very first bottle.  Jackson drank the 2 oz like a pro!

8:05-8:45 PM ~ Jackson finally slept!  I uploaded pictures and worked on blog.  Jesse finished laundry and watched TV.
8:45-9:00 PM ~ Jesse and I changed into pajamas, brushed teeth, laid Jackson down.  I'm going to try and pump once more before going to bed.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Finding a Routine?--Friday, April 29

I don't want to jinx us, but for the past three nights Jackson has eaten around 10 p.m., 2 a.m., and 6 a.m.  That means Jesse and I have more or less been able to sleep over six hours.  Feeding, changing, and burping takes about 30-45 minutes for us, but Jackson falls right back asleep after the 10 and 2 feeding.  He is still congested so we suctioned him throughout the night.  He is eating every 2 hours during the day, but I think he is finally settling into a day/night pattern that works for us. 

Milk Coma--Common Sighting after Nursing
I've been reading up on pumping breast milk quite a good bit.  I think I'm going to buy a deep freezer to put in the garage to store my milk.  The CDC and LLL recommend storing frozen milk in a deep freezer for 6-12 months.  That means that if I start now and pump daily through August, I can have a well established supply until Jackson is at least 10 months old.  My goal is to breastfeed until Jackson is a year old and I would rather not have to pump while at work.  I also want to make sure I have as good of a supply as I do right now.

Potentially TMI topic: I am beginning to get concerned about this postpartum bleeding.  It has been 20 days now and I am still bleeding bright red .  It has tapered off, but not enough to get away with just a pantyliner.  I am going to call the OB's office on Monday to schedule my 4 week check up appointment so I'll ask the nurse about it then.  I have heard of some women bleeding for just a few days, others for over a month.  Everything I've researched says if I am still bleeding, it should be pink or lighter, not bright red.  Either way, this so makes up for not having a period for 9 months!

Apparently I'm the obsessive, irrational parent and Jesse is the apathetic, relaxed parent.  Over the last three days I have diagnosed Jackson with a cold, reflux, GERD, and colic.  Jesse and I both will google something, like spitting up through the nose, and only read the answers that support our extreme opinion.  I really am trying to relax.  I never thought I would be so uptight about my child, but it's scary not knowing what is normal and when I should stop freaking out.

Today was Jesse's last work day off before finishing out the school year (six more weeks before summer).  We had made plans to go on the Greenway for a nice, long walk.  Instead my oldest sister and her family came to visit, which was a pleasant surprise.  I was tired from being up since 6 a.m. so Jackson and I took a two hour nap together in the bed.  I swear, the child can sleep forever when he is cuddled up beside me.  Lord help us when we try to transition him to the crib!  We did manage to go on a long walk through the neighborhood before dinner.  Then Jan and Jeff came to visit for a few hours this evening. 

What's With the Congestion?--Thursday, April 28

I was just telling my sister how much closer Jesse and I have become and how surprised I am at how emotionally stable I feel.  As someone who has a long history with anxiety disorder and difficulty with major life changes, I've been very sensitive to looking out for signs of post partum depression.  Truly, I've felt happy and content adjusting to motherhood and enjoy time with my family.  With that said, I swear I feel bipolar today!

Jackson has been battling mucous issues since birth, increasingly at night.  He sounds like he is hacking on something in the back of his throat, frequently sneezes and coughs, and his eyes water.  Jesse and I were on edge last night as neither of us slept much.  At one point I had just finished feeding Jackson and Jesse went to go get the suction bulb.  I assumed he was going to suction Jackson's nose but he just threw it at me and went back to bed.  We snapped back and forth a few nasty comments which resulted in me crying and holding Jackson in bed while Jesse went back to sleep.  Naturally, Jesse had no recollection of this when I confronted him this morning.

I called our family physician office as soon as they were open and left a message for the nurse.  I specifically said I didn't want to be a paranoid mother who overreacts at everything so I just wanted to know if we needed to make an appointment or if this was something he would just get over.  She called back and told us to go ahead and come in today to check his temperature and vitals to make sure there weren't any concerns.  Jackson weighed 9 lbs 13 oz (up 2 ounces from yesterday) and his temperature was fine (99 degrees).  The doctor recommended saline drops.  We discovered we've been suctioning him ineffectively because we weren't closing his other nostril when we suctioned.  The doctor did mention possible allergies, though it is too early to tell.  I'm nervous that Jackson might be allergic to the cats, though it is also pollen season right now.  Either way, at least there was no immediate concern.  Apparently, babies just get really congested.

Today is my brother-in-law's birthday, so I baked a chocolate cake with homemade cream cheese icing.  Jesse was cleaning the upstairs and Jackson didn't much care for his swing so I tried out the Ergo carrier with the infant insert.  I actually felt better with Jackson in the Ergo than the Moby wrap because it is more structured and impossible for his chin to rest on his chest.  I felt like Martha Stewart baking my cake, wearing my baby, cleaning the house, etc.

Jackson spit up all day.  I nearly reached my breaking point.  Most of the time it was just a small, clear amount, but a few times it was quite scary.  I was yelling for Jesse at one point because Jackson spit up so much it was chunky and all over both of us.  We had to strip Jackson down and give him a bath.  It was especially hard for Jackson to breastfeed because he couldn't breathe through his nose. He kept latching off, gasping for air, then going back to eating.  Then he would spit up through his nose.  We weren't able to give him the medicine for thrush because he just kept spitting up.  Ugh...I feel helpless. 

I drove our family to my sister's house 40 minutes away.  Generally Jesse does the driving but I am not quite comfortable driving with Jackson.  I feel like I have my driver's permit and need someone else in the car to supervise before I can graduate to driving with just Jackson and I.  Jesse installed the mirror yesterday so I still feel good about that.  I should be ready to be on my own Monday when I have to take us to the chiropractor appointment and Jesse goes back to work.

Spaghetti dinner with family was great as always.  Babies were passed around.  I wasn't in the mood to use the nursing cover (or really even be around people for that matter) so I just nursed in my sister's bedroom.  Jackson gets a bit fussy before bed each night and tonight was no exception.  I don't think Jackson was hungry since he had eaten a good amount an hour before, but he was making every hunger sign known to infants.  As my brother said, I "topped him off" before we left, hoping to avoid a repeat of Sunday's scream session in the car.  Unfortunately Jackson still cried hysterically so before we made it to the interstate I pulled into a neighborhood long enough for Jesse to hop in the back seat and give Jackson his pacifier.  (He isn't coordinated enough to hold the paci himself or put it back in if it falls out.)  It was a quiet, peaceful ride the rest of the way. 

Now that it's 10 p.m. we are putting pajamas on and hoping to get lots of restful sleep free from congestion! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We Have a Heifer--Wednesday, April 27

I have been stressing about Jackson's weigh in for over a week now.  I was so nervous that he was spitting up too much and not getting enough milk.  It's impossible to tell how much milk he's really getting while breastfeeding.  He generally eats 10-15 minutes at a time, but I don't have a clue how many ounces that is.  Jackson weighed 8 lbs 15 oz at birth and 8 lbs 7 oz when he was discharged from the hospital.  The goal was to at least be at his birth weight today.  I was SO HAPPY to see the scale read 9 lbs 11 oz this morning at the doctor's office.  No worries about having to supplement with formula or stress over recording every time he eats on one of those nursing logs.

I finally cleaned out my car yesterday and Jesse installed the carseat for me.  I drove to the 2 week check up today and made Jesse sit in the back seat with Jackson just to make sure his head didn't flop around.  We bought one of those mirrors you put in the back seat so you can see your baby in the rearview mirror.  It didn't work, so we still need to figure that out.  I get paranoid about his chin on his chest cutting off his airway.  (His chin isn't on his chest, but I still worry his head will fall forward somehow.)  I wouldn't hear him if he stops breathing so he could not be breathing and I wouldn't even know.  I know it's dangerous to stare in the mirror and not the road, but it would give me a little peace of mind to be able to see him when I want.

I decided to join Charlotte Mommies group online.  They have local groups so I joined the University Area moms.  They have playdates, mommy meet ups, family picnics, bunco, etc.  It mostly consists of stay at home moms because the majority of events are scheduled during the day.  Technically, I will be a stay at home mom until August when I go back to work, so I might as well network with other moms.  I think I'll try one of their events next week when Jesse goes back to work.

The job interview today was very confusing.  I couldn't get a read on the principal.  At times she spoke as if I clearly had the job and at other times she didn't even seem interested.  I'm not worried one way or the other since I already have a job.  We could use the extra money, but it would come with extra stress.  God will provide, so I'll just wait and see.

Domino's has pizza for $3.99 on Wednesdays so Jesse and I are going to binge on pizza, cuddle with our handsome baby boy on the couch, and catch up on the DVR.  What a life...   : D

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Clawing, Pumping, and Fussing--Tuesday, April 26

Cowbell is our feral, always curious cat.  She is always sneaking up on Mr. Nibbles, playing with toys, and jumping on top of things.  When I was pregnant we started placing baby items around the house for her to get used to (bouncer, high chair, swing, bassinet, etc).  She always made herself cozy in each of Jackson's things.  Now that HE is using them, she seems agitated.  Twice today I caught her clawing at Jackson (never actually pierced his skin) through the bassinet while he was sleeping.  I don't know what we're going to do with her!  If it continues to be a problem we will make her an outside cat, but I hope it doesn't come to that. 

Yesterday evening Jesse helped me figure out how to use the breast pump.  My sister-in-law gave us the Medela In Style Advanced Double Pump that she bought but only used for a week.  Unfortunately, there were no directions, but Jesse found a manual online.  I fed Jackson first, then was able to pump 2.5 oz.  It was such a bizarre, uncomfortable sensation and quite gross to watch.   When I was finished my chest was completely deflated.  Seriously, my boobs became pancakes.  I don't think my milk production caught up with Jackson's needs because he could barely latch and gnawed at my boobs EVERY hour last night.  They finally feel full again this afternoon and we have resumed feeding every 2 hours. 

Jackson was so fussy this morning I had convinced myself he had colic.  This is something I greatly fear because I know it becomes prominent in infants between 2-3 weeks and continues until 3-4 months old.  I don't think I can handle a baby crying for hours a day by myself.  I am ultra paranoid when he cries and I don't know why.  I wish he could just talk already and articulate his needs!

I am having a fat day.  I tried to find something in my closet that I could wear to my interview tomorrow, but everything is either too tight or too loose.  Nothing looks presentable.  I refuse to buy an outfit that I hopefully won't be able to wear again.  It's so disappointing to not look good in anything. 

Bath time was way overdue.  We bathe Jackson every other day but skipped Sunday with all the excitement.  Jackson hates baths and diaper changes.  He cried the least amount today and he finally has a perfectly clean belly button, free of any remaining scabs or blood. 

Hoping for an uneventful evening and lots of rest tonight...

Adjustments and Acne--Monday, April 25

I think the stressful car ride, heat, and company was just too much for Jackson yesterday.  He slept FOUR hours (from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.) last night.  Jesse and I both woke up around 1:30 and tried to figure out if I had fed him or he had changed him since neither of us had woken up.  It was glorious!  Truly, who knew four consecutive hours of sleep could feel so amazing?

Jackson woke up with nasty baby acne all over his forehead.  Everything I've read says this is caused by the hormones I passed to him when he was born and that there isn't anything we could do to clear it up.  Obviously I'm not going to wash my infant with Clearasil.  Hopefully his perfect complexion will resume again soon!

This morning was our big appointment with the chiropractor. Again, my chiropractor specializes in prenatal, postpartum, and infant care.  He was my saving grace throughout my pregnancy and I owe most of my good health and comfort throughout pregnancy to him.  He readjusted me first, then Jackson.  Jesse and I had no clue what to expect for Jackson.  The doctor had us take his shirt off and he used a thermometer gauge to determine if any of his vertebrae were out of alignment.  The chiropractor adjusted Jackson's pelvis and mid-back.  He was so gentle and just barely used his thumb to push along Jackson's spine.  Jackson squirmed and cried a bit because he hates being restricted, but he was totally fine afterwards.  We are both going back next Monday but we will only go back as needed after next week.

I got a phone call totally out of the blue from my principal asking me if I would be interested in a job offer at another school that would offer $10,000 more.  I already have a job lined up for August though I am not pleased with  my placement.  Anyway, this job could really alleviate financial struggles and allow Jesse to stay home with Jackson next year.  We both hate the idea of sending our infant to daycare and our willing to work opposite shifts to be able to stay home with our son.  Interview is on Wednesday.  Fingers crossed. 

Ellen is coming over again to bring us dinner and visit a bit before she heads back to Wilmington.  Hooray for Japanese food and good company.

Easter--Sunday, April 24

Whew!  What a whirlwind of a day.  By 9 a.m. Jesse and I had already showered and were eating breakfast.  We crammed the diaper bag full of ten cloth diapers, 2 change of outfits, burp cloths, medicineand prepared for a LONG day!  We left the house at 10:10 a.m. and returned home at 8:30 p.m.  Here are the highlights from our day.

Easter Service
Our church had an easter egg hunt in the morning and a social breakfast (juice and danishes) before the service.  Jesse and I got there about 30 minutes before the service to show off our little man.  We are especially close to the choir and all of the members ran up to us shouting the second they saw us.  I didn't want him passed around the whole congregation since he's only two weeks old, but we did let a very near and dear elder in the church hold him for some time.  We decided not to take him to the nursery since he is pretty content.  Jesse and I just held Jackson most of the time.  He started to get hungry towards the last 15 minutes of the service.  By the last hymn I had to go to the restroom to feed him because he was beyond upset.  I was so uncomfortable because there was no where to sit, no back support, and I had a screaming child trying to latch onto my already sore nipples.  He was a happy camper after he ate and we were still able to introduce him to several church members after church.
We were finally able to get a family photo of us.  We haven't had a picture with all three of us since his birth.

Lunch with my family
Lunch started at 1 p.m. but we didn't even leave church until 12:30, then drove 40 minutes, and had to heat up our very cold mac-n-cheese and rolls.  We're always on time so this was the first time my family had to wait on us.  I totally took advantage of family members holding Jackson and ate my lunch first.  I was also able to use my sister's nursing cover and feed Jackson twice.  It felt really good to not have to find a bathroom or closet to nurse.  I'm trying to practice using the cover so I get more comfortable. 

My sister, sister-in-law, and I were all pregnant at the same time.  Here are our babies:

In honor of mom, we forced all the kids to pose for the classic photo.  I think we need a bigger couch!  Mom sure would love to see all these grandkids.  This was one of better photos:

Shortly after lunch we walked down the road for an Easter egg hunt at my aunt's house at 3 p.m.  Jackson was again passed around as he was introduced to the extended family.  It was very hot outside and Jackson kept wanting to eat even though I had just fed him an hour before.  All in all, he was fairly content and we had a great time watching the bigger kids play while the adults admired the babies.

It takes just over an hour to drive from my sister's house to Jesse's brother's house.  Around 4:30 p.m. we got back in the car.  Jesse and I were discussing how smoothly the day had gone and how we had been so nervous about today.  Not ten minutes later, Jackson starts sucking his hand violently and crying.  After five more minutes it escalated to all out screaming.  His face was beet red and he was shaking he was crying so hard.  We were only 20 minutes away from the in-laws house, but of course there was a wreck.  Finally we just pulled over at a rest stop so I could feed him.  FYI, when your child is crying and screaming it makes you leak.  I kid you not, I unsnapped my bra and my boob became a fire hydrant spraying my child.  Jesse took Jackson to the restroom to change his diaper and saturated outfit while I cleaned up.  Needless to say, the car ride was a disaster.

We ended up being 45 minutes late and our family was already finished eating.  Oh well...guess this is life with a newborn.  Easter dinner with the in-laws was relaxed and enjoyable.  We stayed a couple of hours before heading home.  It is such a relief it was to be home.  All in all, a successful first outing with only one really stressful incident.  Not sure I would plan another ten hour outing with a two week old, but when all is said and done I'm so glad Jackson was able to meet the people who have loved and prayed for him the past several months on such a meaningful day.  Now time for bed!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two Weeks Old--Saturday, April 23

Jesse began the day at 5:30 a.m. by changing Jackson's diaper and heading to Lowe's.  In honor of Earth Day, Lowe's was giving away a tree to the first 100 customers.  We both thought it would be neat to plant a tree in honor of Jackson during his birth month.  Expecting a long line, Jesse wanted to be at the door when they opened at 6 a.m.  I asked if he was going to move the seats to make room.  I could not stop laughing when he came home and showed me the tree. 

The McCully Family came to visit today.  I've spent so much time with this family I consider myself to be part of their family.  Mrs. McCully, the lactation consultant, confirmed that Jackson and I definitely had thrush.  I am so over breastfeeding right now, but I promised myself I would stick with it for at least a month.  It's not that it is that hard, I just assumed everything would come more naturally than it has.

My closest childhood friend, Ellen, ended up staying from 1-9 p.m.  Jackson never once got fussy.  Ellen kept saying, "I could get used to this life.  Everything slows down.  This is so relaxing."  While I agree that it is relaxing when you have a beautiful infant to stare at all day, I think it's easy for an outsider to totally miss how hard it is to still have clean laundry, dinner, shower, etc--with very little sleep.  And let's not forget neither Jesse or I are working at the current moment.  Everything is easy when you have two stay-at-home parents!  I hope next week isn't too difficult for Jesse to go back to work and me to take care of everything on my own.

In between the daily grind, I'll stop and take time to enjoy this guy's tiny grip, beautiful eyes, and soft skin.  Time to cuddle with the family...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thrush--Friday, April 22

Jackson has been having a hard time staying latched these past few days.  He seems very fussy and continues to gnaw on his hand and not take my breast.  The shooting pain in my nipples is back (though they aren't cracked anymore thanks to lanolin) and I now have a burning sensation as well.  I looked online and diagnosed myself with thrush, which is a yeast infection that is passed back and forth between mom and baby's mouth.  Apparently thrush is much more common in nursing women who received antibiotics during labor and delivery, which I definitely did due to Group Strep B. Sure enough, I checked and Jackson has white patches in the back of his throat and gums.  It also explains the diaper rash he has.  (We use all natural detergent, cloth diapers, and let his behind air out as much as possible during diaper changes so we were perplexed what was wrong.) 

I called Jackson's doctor at 8 a.m. Unfortunately the office is closed for Good Friday.  I called my family physician but their office was also closed.  Jesse called the Minute Clinic but they don't treat newborns.  I called my OB office and was on the phone back and forth with various nurses for 45 minutes.  Their final verdict was that I may or may not have mastitis so they called in a prescription for antibiotics and told me to fill it if I had a fever.  I sent Jesse off to Vitamin Shoppe to get Grapefruit Seeed Extract, a natural remedy that is safe for Jackson and I.  I was also able to call our family friend, the lactation consultant.  After a series of detailed questions she confirmed that we likely have thrush.  She is also a registered nurse so she called in a prescription for Nystatin.  (Both oral drops for him and cream for me)

We swabbed Jackson's mouth with the diluted extract mixture before he ate.  He spit up repeatedly, so much.  Jesse and I decided we would try the Nystatin drops next and keep using the extract on me.  It's so tricky because it can take two weeks to clear up and you have to make sure you treat both baby and mom, otherwise you'll keep passing it back and forth.

Today is Jan's 50th birthday.  We had the in-laws over for dinner.  Jackson and I baked a birthday cake for her while my sister-in-law came over to decorate our house.  Jesse grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.  Jan was so happy and I am glad we were able to help her feel special on her birthday. 

Since Jackson is two weeks old (or will be at 4:28 a.m.) we decided to introduce the pacifier.  It is one of those "soothie" pacis that the hopsital uses and is shaped like a nipple.  Jackson just keeps sucking on his hand and getting upset even after he's eaten for 30 minutes.  If he keeps eating he just spits up.  He took the pacifier for a solid 10 minutes after we gave him his medicine and he seemed so content.  I don't want him to be dependent upon it, but I am relieved to offer him something other than my breast. 

We are all so very tired and it's only 8:30 p.m.  Time to put on pajamas and settle into bed.  Let's hope nighttime nursing is pain free for both of us. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Following a Paper Trail--Thursday, April 21

The day began with an 8 a.m. phone call from Human Resources.  Apparently they are working this week after all.  I verified my delivery information and have confirmed my paid maternity leave to extend through May 21.  I am quite agitated that I am using my sick days for spring break, when it seems like it should be an extra bonus since that is a paid week off regardless.  Oh well, at least April will be a full pay check and May won't be too badly deducted. 

I spent the following three hours trying to figure out how to add Jackson to my insurance.  It is costing an extra $350 a month (well, 9 months) to cover Jackson.  I had to enroll him on the InTouch system, but I had no clue what my login or password was since I never log in to the website.  In fact, the website isn't even linked to the CMS Intranet, so I really don't know how you're supposed to know how to access it.  After several phone calls I was informed that I needed to fax his birth certificate.  Another phone call later and the hospital let me know where to go to get official records.  I was assured that all records are filed within 3 days after birth.  I fed Jackson then drove downtown to the public record office to get his birth certificate.  After driving 25 minutes, filling out paperwork, and waiting in line, I was told that the office hadn't received record from the hospital and that it generally takes two weeks to process.  Of course, they are happy to mail me his certificate free of charge.  Well, thanks!  Now I just pray that I make the 30 day window to finalize Jackson on my insurance.

While I was already out I knew I had another 45 minutes before Jackson should be hungry again so I ran by Concord Mills to exchange a nursing bra and get some stretch mark cream.  I've discovered that underwire nursing bras are way more restricting when it comes to actually nursing.  The Hanes outlet has the most comfortable nursing bras for $17, which is cheaper than I pay for my regular Victoria's Secret bras.  Obviously not as attractive, but I guess I am officially past the point of impressing anyone.  I also grabbed some "Tummy Butter" from Motherhood and one of those post-partum bands (like the Belly Bandit) to wear.  Motherhood is no longer selling them in stores so it was half off.  The cashier double checked that I had tried on the display size because the store will not exchange or refund them, which I had done.  When I got home I was disappointed to discover that the band was a size large but in a box labeled medium.  It's way too big to serve it's purpose and I can't exchange it.  Go figure...that's just the luck I seem to be having today!

I've felt really good all day.  I think the key is to stay hydrated.  I made sure to drink a glass of water every nursing session (even during the night).  I'm trying to take over night time diaper duties since Jesse will be going back to work in a week and he needs his rest.  We only had a few diapers left so I was glad Jackson didn't soak through them too fast.  We have been able to wash diapers every other day without running out.  Jesse throws them in the wash and then we let the sun do it's job.  So far, so good. 

I was watching Parenthood last night and there was a scene where one of the women realizes how much she wants to have a baby (though she is physically unable to get pregnant).  Then today I found out a close family friend must deliver her child at only 23 weeks pregnant.  I've been holding on to Jackson so very dearly and feeling especially blessed that we are in good health.  I don't know why God blessed Jesse and I with a child and not others, because we are certainly undeserving, but I am so very thankful.  It hasn't even been two weeks but I simply cannot fathom life without Jackson.  Many prayers to those who are unable to conceive or suffering loss...

To end on a more light-hearted note, Jackson wore my favorite newborn pants today that I just have to show off:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is This How I Am Supposed to Feel?--Wednesday, April 20

I had another bad dizzy spell in the shower this morning.  I have also been especially tired today.  I took two naps (with Jackson) which were the first naps I've taken during the day since being in the hospital.  It is so hard to gauge what an appropriate level of tired is.  Is this how I should feel a week and a half post partum or should I be concerned?  I've read plently online that general fatigue, headaches, and dizziness are expected due to the severe change in hormones in the weeks after birth.  I've also read that anemia, post partum depression, and pre-eclampsia all have the same symptoms.  I'm trying not to psyche myself out but if I still feel like this tomorrow I'm going to call the doctor. Today is the first day I haven't left the house, not even to go outside.  I just feel tired and light headed.

On top of the exhaustion, my back hurts.  I've had a dull back ache since labor, but up until last night I had more or less been taking Tylenol and Advil around the clock.  Since my tear is starting to feel better and I can sit at the table, I decided to wean myself off of all medication (except a vitamin of course).  Anyway, I went ahead and scheduled my chiropractor appointment and made an appointment for Jackson as well for next Monday.  My chiropractor specializes in prenatal care and infants.  I am so excited to see if I notice any difference in Jackson.  Chiropractic care is supposed to be so good for infants.

Jackson met his great grandmother today.  She doesn't drive so Jesse went to pick her up.  Of course she just admired him and bragged about how proud she was of Jesse and I.  Apparently she was expecting to go out to eat with Jesse, Jackson, and I.  The idea of going out in public this early makes me a bit nervous.  Not so much because of the germs, but just because I haven't been able to nurse using my nursing cover and we haven't had to travel with the wet bag and cloth diapers yet.  And of course I still worry about him crying and people judging me and my child.  I'm already anxious about this Sunday because we will be out of the house from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. driving to church, then Gastonia for Easter lunch and egg hunt, then Salisbury for Easter dinner.

Jackson sleeps so well when he is with me.  I love knowing that he takes comfort hearing my heart beat.  And I love snuggling with him in the Moby wrap, on my stomach, or beside his tiny bed.  His new talent is that when he is first getting hungry he will army crawl and completely pivot his body to get in perfect cradle position on my chest.  He suckles on my shirt exactly where he should.  It totally cracks me up.  Of course he gets fussy if I take too long to feed him. 

We've been trying out the bouncer and swing a good bit more this week, so I'll leave with this picture:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mundane Life--Tuesday, April 19

So just when I start to feel confident, Jackson puts me in my place.  Late last night he ate for 45 minutes straight.  He typically only eats for 20 minutes every few hours.  (Though each nursing session is much longer after you include burping, changing, and falling asleep in between sides.)  In my mind, I thought "Yes! He'll probably sleep for 3-4 hours straight."  Hahaha!  I burped him in a reclined position and he spit up that last 20 minutes of food he had eaten.  I'm talking spit up in my hair, down my gown, on the bed...YUCK!  After things calmed down we had a great night.  It was the first night I was able to nurse without having to sit up, get out of bed, or even turn the lights on.  All three of us slept peacefully, despite interruptions.

One thing I haven't thought to mention is the bizzare feeling the week after birth that your organs are just floating around in your body.  Prior to last night, every time I laid down on my side I literally felt like my organs would just fall to the side.  Seriously, check out the diagram of when you are 40 weeks, and then remove the baby and placenta.  Where do your organs go?  It takes up to six weeks for all your organs to return to their previous size.  I really think they just float around for a few days until they know where to go.
 We went for another walk today, which was so much easier without having the brakes on!  We were worried it was too hot outside so we kept it to a pretty short walk.  I was pleased with my energy level, but Jesse still left me in the dust when it was his turn to push the stroller.

We more or less are doing the same thing each day.  I made lunch while wearing Jackson in my Moby wrap.  I think I love the Moby wrap so much because it reminds me of being pregnant with him curled up beside me so closely.  We nursed every few hours.  Jesse washed a load of cloth diapers and hung them out to line dry.  The diapers have been no big deal.  We also had another photo shoot now that Jackson has a belly button.  We try to sing, dance, read, and talk to Jackson while he's awake.  Parts of the day our boring and I can't imagine being a stay at home mom.  Then he smiles and makes silly sounds and I can't imagine going back to work.  At least I have four months before having to face that reality.

My goal for the week was to get Jackson added to our insurance.  I didn't even think about the fact that CMS is on spring break so I haven't been able to contact the benefits coordinator through Human Resources.  The hospital has called and sent a letter saying they cannot bill us because they are unable to file a claim on Jackson.  I hope we don't have any issues with paperwork.  I don't even know if we need to get a copy of his birth certificate or social security card and how to go about that.

Jesse had been craving steak ever since a couple at church told us that the hospital gives you a steak dinner right after you have a baby.  They might have, but we sure didn't.  Anyway, Jesse is grilling potatoes, asparagus, chicken, and steak for dinner tonight.  Hopefully it will be smooth sailing the rest of the evening. 

Belly Button and Cute Diaper

Celebrating the Little Things--Monday, April 18

Today has been the best day of motherhood so far, full of lots of small victories.  I feel like I am finally getting the swing of things.  There was nothing eventful about our sleep last night, which is good news.  All three of us were awake and moving around by 8:30.  Our morning routine as of last has been Jesse jumps in the shower while I feed Jackson, then I jump in the shower while he takes care of burping and diaper duties. 
Here are the successes of the day:
  • Jackson ate well every 2-3 hours.  I pray he is regulating and finally getting on his own routine.  He ate from 8:40-9:00, 10:30-11:00, 1:00-1:30, 3:15-3:45, 5:45-6:15, 7:30-7:40, and 8:45-9:05.  Only one quick snack the whole day! 
  • Jackson has a belly button!  While it is slightly bittersweet to know that his last remaining visible connection to his mommy is gone, I feel so much better now that he doesn’t have disgusting, rotting skin hanging off of his body.
  • I drove to Babies-R-Us.  I know this is silly, but I haven’t driven in over a week (as advised by my OB).  I was nervous to go out on my own since I’ve been getting a little dizzy and tired when we’ve gone out.  I felt completely normal and walked at my regular pace.
  • I bought a Moby wrap.  We have an Ergo carrier but it is not recommended for infants.  I love the idea of baby wearing and I desperately want my two hands back but Jackson likes to be in our arms.  The wrap was really easy to put on but I think I should have made it tighter.  I was able to walk around, type, and read all while wearing Jackson.  He slept so peacefully for an entire hour curled up against me.
  • Dinner was fantastic.  Jesse prepared baked potatoes, chicken, and salad.  Jackson actually stayed in his bassinet without fussing throughout our entire dinner.  Best of all, I was able to semi-comfortably sit at the dinner table.  I am still taking Tylenol, but I have felt okay all day.
  • The cats are finally comfortable with Jackson.  Cowbell slept at our feet the past two nights (just like she always did).  Mr. Nibbles will curl up on the couch beside me even when I’m holding Jesse.  Neither cat has done anything more than sniff Jackson, but they aren’t hiding in another room or running everything he makes a sound.
  • I shaved my legs and painted my toenails.  I have been admiring the bones in my feet all week.  Keep in mind my feet have been so swollen that I haven’t seen my ankles or toes the past few months.  I certainly haven’t been able to reach my feet to paint my toenails.  I can almost wear my wedding/engagement ring, but not quite yet.  I got it on earlier but had a bit of a panic attack that someone was going to have to cut it off of me.
Showing off the Moby Wrap

Trying to Find a Routine-- Sunday, April 17

Jackson was very clingy last night.  He needed to be rocked to sleep and in our arms for a good two hours before he settled down.  It was almost midnight before we got any sleep.  It’s not that we was crying hysterically or screaming, he was just fussy and would begin to cry when we laid him down.  So frustrating!  At least it didn’t last all night.
Jesse and tried our best to follow a normal routine, at least what our routine was before Jackson.  We both woke up and Jesse fixed our traditional Sunday pancakes and breakfast while I fed Jackson.  We were able to put Jackson in the bassinet while we ate breakfast and looked over the Sunday paper.  We didn’t go to church since Jackson is only a week old and the doctor recommended waiting 4 weeks before taking him out in crowds.  (We are still planning on going to church next Sunday to celebrate Easter.)
The day has been pretty low key.  I never even left the house.  Jesse went grocery shopping while I watched Jackson.  Since I am a teacher, I am obsessive about reading and talking to him.  I know it’s ridiculous considering he can’t comprehend what I’m saying, but I want to expose him to as much vocabulary as possible.  We talked about the Civil War and how he got his name.  We discussed different types of animals in the rain forest and the tundra.  Jesse read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 
Jackson is still eating every hour to hour and a half.  The lactation consultant told me not to worry about the hiccups.  I can introduce a pacifier whenever I want.  She told me to start pumping when I was comfortable and to introduce the bottle around 4 weeks old.  I haven’t asked about the snacking, but I am considering scheduling an appointment with a lactation consultant at the hospital where I delivered.  They will weigh Jackson before and after feeding to see how many ounces he is getting.  I might just wait until Jackson’s 2 week appointment to see if he is having any issues gaining weight first.

Jackson seriously cracks us up with his facial expressions.  I hope he's not stressed out because he genuinely looks like he has such a difficult life when he furrows his eyebrows and puts his hand over his face like, "why me?"  He smiles a lot, too.  We are able to get used to his sounds.  He makes a strange barking sound when he sleeps sometimes.  I'm not worried about his breathing or anything; I just think it's a cute quirk.
We ended the day with traditional Sunday popcorn and 60 minutes.  We’re about to put our pajamas on and head to bed.

One of Jackson's many CRAZY expressions

One Week Old: Saturday, April 16

It was another successful night’s sleep in the Snuggle Nest.  I still nursed every two hours, but at least we could easily transition back to sleep. 
Even with a decent amount of sleep, I feel really exhausted today.  I wake up feeling dizzy almost every morning because I feed Jackson all night and I haven’t had anything to eat in ten hours or more.  I really forgot what it felt like to be hungry.  Of course, this is more than hungry.  I also forgot what it feels like to have a period.  Not that I am technically having cycles yet, but it’s the same feeling.  I’ve never had a period more than 5 days and I always used tampons, so I just feel disgusting having to wear pads and know that I am still bleeding and will be for a little while.  I feel especially sore from the tear today.  I never did do that sitz bath; I suppose that could help.  At least I don’t have hemorrhoids; I know so many women get those after having a vaginal delivery.
Aunt Meme, aka my oldest sister Christina, came to visit today, along with her daughter, Emily.  Christina and I have joked around most of my pregnancy that we would switch kids for the first year.  She is such a baby person and Emily is more or less my clone.  She admired and loved on Jackson plenty and commented on how alert he was.  Again, Jackson doesn’t realize he’s a newborn.  He likes to hold his head up like a big boy (not for prolonged periods of time, of course).  He is awake more than he is asleep, which is not common for infants.  He makes crazy expressions, furrows his eyebrows, and even rolls his eyes.  (Not sure where he got that from… ; D)  He cracks me up when he wakes up, too.  He stretches and grunts for quite some time and rolls from his back to his side.  I don’t have much to compare it to, but he seems to have a lot of upper body strength.  If we lay him on our stomach he can army crawl up to our chest pretty quickly.  I don’t want to be one of those moms who think their child is some kind of super child, but he is pretty amazing.
Jackson has become a snacker, meaning he eats for 5-10 minutes every hour.  This is killing me!  I don’t know how to remedy it either.  He isn’t a fussy baby but he tends to use my chest as a pacifier.  He also gets the hiccups after every feed.  I e-mailed my best friend’s mother who happens to be a lactation consultant with my concerns.
I decided to get on the scale for the first time today since I am officially one week post partum.  I’m not a big fan of the scale but I have clearly lost a lot of weight.  Turns out I’ve lost 30 lbs in a week.  My skin is so flabby and I forgot what it feels like to be fat.  I tried to put on some of my pre-pregnancy clothes but I couldn’t get anything to fit over my hips.  Thankfully it is spring so I can get away with yoga pants and skirts for now.  I’ve been looking at getting one of those Belly Bandits that you wear to shrink and tighten your belly.  I just don’t think I’m willing to spend the money when it doesn’t matter that much to me.  I’m proud of my body though.  Sure, my belly button has become a sinkhole. There are dozens of deep stretch marks.  I look like a contestant on the Biggest Loser after they’ve lost the weight but before they’ve had surgery to remove hanging skin.  Regardless, I really do think it’s beautiful to know how a woman’s body is designed.  I carried a child for nearly a year, then literally pushed a near 9 lb child out of my body last week.  I think I look pretty good!

1 week post partum

Hormones-- Friday, April 15

Praise God for whoever invented the Snuggle Nest!  Seriously, it was our best night’s sleep yet.  Don’t get me wrong, I was still awake every two hours nursing, but I was really in and out of sleep the whole night rather than fully waking up Jackson and I to nurse.  All I had to do was lean over and slide him down beside me, whip out the boob, and fall back asleep.  Unfortunately I do leak all over the sheets, but I don’t know any other way around that.  I am used to putting my hands out to my side so I had my hand on the rail of his “bed” and at one point during the night I woke up and he had made a fist around my finger.  Melt my heart, I just love this kid!
We decided to use the huge pack of disposable newborn diapers we were given for the first week and then switch to cloth diapers.  We ran out last night, which worked out perfectly.  Day One of cloth diapering has been semi-successful.  Jesse and I didn’t take much care in following the directions to wash the diapers 4-6 times before use and we are paying for it now.  Jackson is soaking through these things every few hours, as well as his outfit.  Another diaper and wardrobe change later and all are happy.  My breastfeeding book says by one week old breastfed babies should have yellow, seedy stool.  Every time Jesse changes Jackson he yells out, “Good God son, why does your mommy keep feeding you mustard?”  I guess that’s a good sign that all is well with the feeding and his digestive tract.  Since his poop is far from solid, we are literally tossing the whole diaper in the diaper pail without rinsing it off first.  It’s not bad so far, but I’m not the one who changes him regularly.  It was agreed that since I am doing all of the feedings Jesse would take care of most of the diaper changes.  Plus, I am really uncomfortable dealing with the umbilical cord and checking the circumcised penis.  I would just suck it up if I had to but thankfully I have a husband who doesn’t mind that stuff.
It was a beautiful day and Jesse and I decided to take Jackson for a walk in his jogging stroller.  It took us a good 10 minutes before we could figure out how to actually put the car seat in the jogging stroller.  I pushed the stroller but it was so difficult to steer, especially around corners.  I wasn’t sure if I was just that weak and clumsy still and felt really out of control.  At one point I had steered Jackson up onto a neighbor’s yard where he was halfway on the grass and halfway on the sidewalk at an angle.  Jesse started yelling at me “Do you want to tip our child over?”  He was also upset that I was too rough and Jackson’s head was hunched over.  I told him that is what his head always looks like and I should be the one to know since I’ve sat beside him in the car twice now.   When we turned around I made Jesse take the stroller the rest of the way back.  He was struggling just as much as I was but I didn’t dare say anything.  He was also walking way faster and knew that I couldn’t keep up with him.  He just left me several paces behind.  Once we got back to the house I lost it.  I screamed, “Don’t you dare talk to me like that again!  I would never put our child in danger!” and just kept crying.  My blood was boiling.  I felt like he didn’t trust me with our own child.  This was the first time I have been genuinely upset with him in months.
Update: We hugged and talked.  I forget that I’m not the only one going through this drastic lifestyle makeover and fighting sleep deprivation.  And I should also note: We later discovered that we had the brake on the front wheel of the stroller the entire time…no wonder it was so hard to steer!
I have been all kinds of sentimental today reliving everything that happened last week.  I finally finished typing up my birth story and have been looking at the clock all day thinking, “last week at this time I was…”  I still keep staring at Jackson in total disbelief that he was inside me last week.  INSIDE me!  I am well aware of how pregnancy, labor, and delivery work, but it still blows my mind that we created this child from God’s grace and the right combination of cells.  He was curled up sleeping ever so peacefully and I just cried.  I can’t believe my baby is already a week old.  At the same time, I can’t believe how much my life has changed in a week.  No matter how many times I was told that a baby would change my life, it’s not something I could understand until it happened.   
Jan and Jeff came over in the late evening.  Jackson was so peaceful.  We had eaten dinner, turned the lights down, and were listening to music.  They took turns holding Jackson and Jesse and I snuggled together on the couch.  That is the most physical contact Jesse and I have had all week.  Once they left I held Jackson in my arms and Jesse wrapped his arms around me on the couch.  The moment was perfect and I hope I want to savor it forever.  It was the first time I felt completely relaxed and calm about us as a family.  There was no doubt in my mind that we will do everything we can to give our son a good life.  It’s been a whirlwind of a week but we are doing it.  It’s hard.  We’re tired.  Everything we once knew now revolves around Jackson.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I LOVE this new family.  I don’t want to forget how perfect the three of us are together and how much love there is.  Thank you, God!    

The Traumatic Stroller Ride

CoSleeping, Let Down, and Clothes--Thursday, April 14

I gave in and let Jackson sleep in the bed with us last night.  He doesn’t sleep in the bassinet and it is so much easier for me to breastfeed in the side lying position at night.  I’m not very good at it yet but we’ve had some success.  For the past week I have heard him sucking his hand in the middle of the night, gotten up, gone to the nursery, turned on the light, found the boppy pillow, and tried to position him correctly.  (Remember, lazy latching=sore, cracked nipples)  By the time I go through all of this he is crying and past hungry, which makes it that much more difficult.  Multiply this experience by 5 times a night and now you understand why I succumbed to co-sleeping.  Honestly I still couldn’t sleep though because I was paranoid I would smother him.
First thing this morning I told Jesse we have to find a solution.  I can’t do this too many more nights.  We looked online and found the Snuggle Nest, which is basically a tiny bed you place in between mom and dad’s pillows for baby to sleep in.  We can’t roll over him but he is right beside us and we can see him.  Jan came over again.  (She took the whole week off of work.)  We decided her time would be best used watching Jackson while we ran out to find the Snuggle Nest.  We were gone for less than an hour but I still felt a bit guilty leaving my baby. Thankfully Babies-R-Us had the Snuggle Nest in stock and the store is only five minutes from the house.  I also ran into Concord Mills to get fitted for a nursing bra.  My poor back can’t handle the weight of my chest without more support than these nursing tanks provide.  The nursing bra is fantastic.  I hope the Snuggle Nest goes over just as well!
So I read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, checked out the Le Leche League website, and discussed breastfeeding with my Bradley instructor.  With that said, I totally didn’t get what let down was.  For me, let down means I can feed my child on one side and fill an entire bottle with the ever flowing stream of milk coming from the other side.  I haven’t tried this, but I’m seriously considering it!  I keep forgetting my new super power and end up saturating poor Jackson’s outfit.  Jesse is getting a bit tired of the wardrobe changes after feeding and I am running out of clean shirts.  For some reason I though women leaked all the time and I don’t at all so I haven’t been using the nursing pads.  Time to do that, I suppose!

Jesse and I gave Jackson a bath and had a quick photo shoot on the bed.  We propped him up on pillows and used the white comforter as a backdrop just like the photographer in the hospital did.  We're trying to get some good pictures so I can make his birth announcements on Shutterfly.
I have just about had it with Jackson’s clothes!  We were beyond blessed to receive HUNDREDS of outfits, sizes newborn all the way to 12 months.  We sorted, washed, and crammed every outfit into two different dressers and put the bigger sizes in a storage container under the crib.  It’s just too much though!  Jesse was changing Jackson downstairs and he asked me to go get pajamas with feet on them.  I had to pull clothes out of the drawer just to look around and I finally found one.  When I brought it downstairs he just looked at me and said, “well how’s he supposed to fit in that?”  I didn’t even look but gave him a premie outfit.  (Most of the clothes were given to us by my sister-in-law, who had her baby 6 weeks premature.  A few premie outfits sneaked in there.)  I don’t know why but I just cried and went back upstairs and started muttering about the damn clothes.  Ah, hormones…
Jason and Chrissy (Jesse’s brother and sister-in-law) are bringing us BBQ for dinner and going to visit for a bit this evening. 

At Home Photo Shoot

Day 5 Dr. Check Up--Wednesday, April 13

Another sleepless night.   Lots of spitting up.  Weird sounds that Jackson makes and I don’t know what they mean yet.  Marathon nursing sessions continue.  Enough said! 
Side note: I have been religiously applying lanolin to my nipples and am already noticing a great improvement. 
Today was Jackson’s first doctor’s visit.  I already feel overwhelmed about traveling, but of course I can’t become a hermit just because I have a child.  His appointment was at 11 a.m.  Luckily he was hungry and I was able to feed him right before we left so I wouldn’t have to worry about nursing in public.  As our first official outing, we loaded the diaper bag and awkwardly put him in his car seat.  Last week I could be upstairs on the computer; Jesse would set the alarm; and I would be in the car in less than 80 seconds.  Those days are clearly gone.  I’m not sure why we made an appointment because we weren’t called back there until 11:15.  Jackson was a silent angel in the waiting room and every person that passed by “oooed” and “ahhhed” at him.  There is so much pride in showing off my baby.  Jesse had me cracking up filling out Jackson’s medical history.  Basically the whole form was not applicable.  Jesse also kept saying, “Who is the Billy Ruben they keep looking for?” referring to the bilirubin test for jaundice.
The actual doctor’s visit was horrifying.  Jackson had a total diaper blowout while the nurse was preparing to weigh him.  When we changed his diaper Jackson peed ALL over the wall and floor.  I was literally mopping up the floor with paper towels when the doctor came in.  Jackson weighs 8 lbs, 7 oz.  This is down 8 oz from birth and the same as his discharge weight.  Since my milk just came in yesterday the doctor wasn’t at all concerned.  Jack just needs to be back up to his birth weight by the two week check up on April 27.  The doctor did comment that he looked slightly yellow and ordered another bilirubin test.  The nurse came back to prick his heel.  I have never heard a child scream like he did!  It was so hard to literally hold my infant down because he was kicking his feet together so violently and smearing blood everywhere.  It took the nurse five minutes to collect the tiny vial full of blood.  For as much pride I got in showing off my sweet, calm child, I had every bit as much nerves and shame carrying my SCREAMING infant through the waiting office and parking lot.  People don’t smile at that.  (I know it’s irrational to think that a newborn who just had a needle in his foot and blood massaged out of him wouldn’t be screaming—there again comes that fear of people  judging me or my child.)
It was after 1 p.m. and Jesse, Jackson, and I were all starving.  We swung by the Jack in the Box drive through and headed home.  Jackson was screaming bloody murder by the time we got home so I fed him and he passed out for four hours.  I haven’t mastered breastfeeding with one hand yet so I am too clumsy to eat, read, or do much of anything else besides feed my child.  I am getting used to soggy cereal and cold food.
It was nice not to have company today.  It was the first day of just the three of us hanging out.  We still don’t have a routine, but we are managing fine.  I don’t mind the daytime but I am beginning to question how I will do this on my own in a few weeks when Jesse returns to work.  I am in total awe of single mothers.  No way could I do that.
Time for dinner and bed.

4 Hour Nap After Scream Fest at Doctor's Office

I Hate Breastfeeding--Tuesday, April 12

I swear Jackson doesn’t sleep.  He woke up to eat at 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9.  This is especially difficult since I’m delirious and still figuring out what I’m doing with this whole breastfeeding thing.  Keep in mind he eats for 15-20 minutes, burps for 5 minutes, gets a diaper change from daddy for another 5 minutes, and then attempts to settle back down.  We currently have him in the pack-n-play bassinet beside our bed.  He is still spitting up a lot and Jesse had to suction him a few times.  I literally slept about 15 minutes each hour.  By the time I was comfortable he was awake again.  When we finally decided to start the day after the 7 a.m. feeding, I was STARVING.  Nursing is draining.  He is literally sucking all the nutrients and energy out of me every hour.  I nearly passed out in the shower.  I also discovered that lazy latching has turned my nipples into scabs.  They are cracked, bleeding, and in PAIN!
On the topic of breastfeeding, after all the events of yesterday I neglected to discuss engorgement.  My milk is starting to come in, which is great for Jackson—not so much for me.  My sister had warned me of the porn star physique I would soon have, and she was right!  I actually made Jesse pick up my breasts to feel how hard and heavy they are.  I wish I could somehow weigh them.  They’ve got to be ten pounds each.  The engorgement probably didn’t help with last night’s painful feedings. 
Jan and Jeff came over today.  They had Levi with them since Jeff takes care of Levi during the day.  Jackson and I napped and nursed while Jeff mowed our lawn and Jan watched Levi.  Jan and Jeff were kind enough to bring us their pack-n-play that has a bassinet and changing table.  Jesse put that together for downstairs.  You would have thought Jesse and I would have been more prepared about these things, especially considering I went past my due date.  We just wanted everything to be cute and not necessarily practical.  It has taken us one day to figure out we need burp cloths and receiving blankets in every room of the house, not just the nursery.  We also need a place for him to nap and change his diapers both upstairs and downstairs.  Duh!
Before Jan left she helped us give Jackson his first sponge bath at home.  I’m afraid he takes after his mother already with oily hair.  He takes after his daddy with dry skin.  Despite the imperfections, he is seriously an adorable baby.  I will be the first to say I can’t stand babies.  I have never liked infants and I so look forward to being able to have conversations with Jackson and chase him around the house.  But, he really is just a beautiful baby.  And now he smells good, too!
I miss the nurses bringing me Tylenol and Ibuprofen around the clock because I have been too busy to remember to take it at home and am suffering now.  We tried to have a normal dinner at the dinner table but I seriously can’t sit down on those hard chairs.  I tried to place a pillow under me but I kept sliding.  We ate on the couch but we still prayed and I wouldn’t let Jesse turn the TV on.  I want dinner time to be family time each day, just like it was growing up.
Crossing my fingers Jackson sleeps tonight…
Post Bath Nap in New Bassinet