It has been 3 weeks since my life changed forever. I haven’t worked out at all. I haven’t counted a single calorie. I’ve just been trying to enjoy this special time.
Everyone keeps telling me to at least.
No one tells you to enjoy wearing what feels like a diaper for 2 weeks. They also don’t tell you to enjoy having chapped/chaffed/painful nipples. Breastfeeding was something I really wanted (still want) to do but holy hell is it painful.
I developed mastitis exactly one week after we checked out of the hospital. Since everyone kept saying that BF’ing is painful, I let Tommy nurse on a bad latch the first night for a prolonged period of time not knowing any better. My nipple ended up looking pretty bad and never healed fully because I thought it was supposed to hurt. It started to feel like shards of glass were penetrating my nipple every time he would latch on. Then I woke up with a fever, felt like I was coming down with the flu and my breast was very tender to touch. Hello, mastitis.
I went to the hospital. They gave me a prescription. I decided to pump on the side effected and exclusively feed Tommy on my right side. I froze what I did pump because the internet made me feel like a bad mom for giving him a bottle so soon. We can’t have nipple confusion (insert tired/sarcastic mom emoji). My right side is now noticeably larger since I didn’t pump as often as I should have on the left. Great…
After two weeks, I’m finally getting the hang of things and feeling really optimistic about breast feeding and this new mom thing. Breast feeding is no longer wince worthy on my right side. Tommy will nurse on both sides now but it is still painful at first on the left, but not shards of glass painful. I saw a lactation consultant who said his latch was good but may be a bit shallow. No tongue tie to report.
Tommy weighed almost 10 lbs at his 2 week appointment and I think he may have already gained another. He is always hungry but I know he getting what he needs.
We finally were able to get out of the house and go for a walk. And by finally I mean, mom found an hour long stretch where Tommy didn’t want to eat and it was pretty nice out. This might have been the best hour of the week as I finally brought my son to one of my favorite places in the city, one he has been to many times but just didn’t know it.
Some people have told me not to worry about work and just focus on the baby. Unfortunately, I work for myself. I don’t have a paid maternity leave. I technically could take a year off but I would make nothing and that would be a lot of pressure to put on Nick. While some of you may envy working for yourself, I envy your maternity leave policy. For those that do not have a maternity leave policy that is paid, I feel ya. Yesterday, all Tommy wanted to do was eat. He didn’t want a nap. He just wanted to be held and eat so that is exactly what I did. So, no work.
Today, he has been napping for 3 hours! I’ve gotten more work done today than I have in 3 weeks I think. But now I feel guilty that he isn’t napping on my chest where I know he prefers to be. He’ll be up in 5 minutes I bet and ready to eat like a baby Micheal Phelps for the next two hours.
So that is where I’ll be for probably the rest of the day enjoying the time where I can still hold him with one arm, kiss the soft spot on the top of his head as much as I want, cuddle and smell his sweet newborn scent. No matter how little sleep I get, the sweet snuggles always make me forget the painful latch, cluster feeding, and all.