Almost there...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Six Weeks

Athena is sound asleep. After eating all day for the past four days, she's woken up just long enough to eat today, then goes back to sleep for several hours. This is her 6-week growth spurt I was warned about. Just when I felt like I'd fallen into an abyss where every waking moment was spent feeding the girl, I finally got a few hours free this morning to do wild and crazy things like dye my hair and finish entering my tax data online. I'm just going to say right now that this was at once really pretty awesome and also sort of bizarre how far my standards have shifted in such a short amount of time. Oh the wild and crazy life of the new parent!

I went to a New Mothers group at El Camino hospital this week and once again feel intensely grateful for my easy journey to pregnancy, my very active and healthy (if sometimes painful) pregnancy, my relatively easy and totally satisfying delivery, my wonderful husband who seems to think this is as much his responsibility as mine, and our amazing baby girl. We've had it so good compared to so many others. She eats well, sleeps well, and her only real issue seems to be a propensity to spit up.

Breastfeeding has gone really well and I'm supplementing as needed with formula, which isn't very often. Well, except the past few days when she's wanted to eat for 12 hours a day, and let's just say that eventually the taps run dry and the flesh needs a break. At those moments, 2 ounces of formula is my favorite thing in the whole world. Meanwhile, in the last week, she's also learned how to get her hand to her mouth. I suspect she'll soon be sucking her thumb, but right now, it's usually her whole fist. She's even occasionally worked her left hand out of her swaddle and I've woken to the sound of her slurping on her hand.

Athena has the most determined frown. There are times when she looks at me like I've just done the dumbest thing in the whole world. That's when I see my face reflected in her little furrowed brow. She's also working toward a real smile. It's not consistent yet, but sometimes she looks up and just beams. Of course, then I do something really stupid like unfasten her diaper and let her get cold, and well, furrowed brow says I'm an idiot. I went to my postpartum ob/gyn appointment this week and got the all clear to go on with the rest of my life. We talked birth control and almost made a big misstep. The NuvaRing is just not suitable for breastfeeding moms, which is a bummer as it's definitely my favorite method. However, seriously impaired breast milk production, plus estrogen passing to the breast milk causing jaundice and enlarged breasts in the baby was a whole world of bad idea. We're back to the drawing board on that topic for now while I decide on whether or not to do a pill or an IUD or what. Erik said, "Seems like it would be awfully nice for the guys to have an option here that wouldn't screw up the breast feeding." Ya think?

Meanwhile, the U.S. seems to have gone crazy over birth control, what with Rush Limbaugh calling anyone who wants to use the pill a slut. States are passing laws requiring an ultrasound before an abortion and fighting laws requiring health plans to cover birth control and I'm just wondering what century we're in. Just so we're clear, if there's one thing that's made me more pro-choice, it's being pregnant and having a baby. That was the single most life-threatening thing I've done in my life so far, and it's certainly not anything you should be forced to do if you don't want to. Just read up on preeclampsia and tell me pregnancy isn't risky. And let's not even talk about the pain that still keeps me from sleeping on my left hip. I fear I've done something semi-permanent to it in this process. I'm still hoping that exercise will fix it eventually. We'll see.

Speaking of exercise, I did manage to get out a week ago and go to both Irish Ceili at Stanford and Friday Night Waltz. It felt so good. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my body was relatively cooperative. I didn't get winded while dancing and I didn't find myself sore the next day. Yay! My big accomplishment this week was to make it to the thrift store to get some new tops and dresses that accommodate breast feeding. Stretchy necklines and v-necks will be the height of fashion for me for the next year. The sleepy baby stirs. Time to go be a food source to my favorite little parasite.

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