Now that the holidays are over and Daniel has gone back to work, it’s time to start getting back on track. As on track as you can with a newborn. I know that establishing a routine right now is a bit pointless since Theodore is the boss and decides most things, but being the Type A personality that I am, I have to at least try.
Overall, this month is already worlds better from the first month. Everyone told me the first month is the toughest and I’m so glad to be over that hurdle. Theodore has been having gas and stomach pain, but now we can recognize it and try to help ease his pain. We still don’t have a solid solution and I’ve taken everyone’s advice and tried it. It will take some time for his stomach to regulate and learn how to pass the gas on his own, so I hope that happens soon.
We’ve managed to get some sleep during the night with only 1-2 feedings. I’m tired and worn out, but I do cherish those quiet moments in the morning with him. It’s our own little alone time where he’s all mine and nobody is trying to grab his attention. I’ve become somewhat obsessed and possessive of him, and even when he’s screaming and crying if someone else is holding him…I miss him. I guess it’s the bond between mother and child where you’ll always want them near.
We wake up around 10am, I change him and give him breakfast. If I’m lucky he’ll take a quick nap so I can take a shower, usually I can sneak away for a few minutes before he realizes I’m missing. Then I have breakfast which is usually oatmeal and something quick. After breakfast we stroll around the house (it’s too cold right now in Sweden to take him outside) where we have our morning discussions. He’s been cooing a lot now and trying to talk so we’ve been singing and talking as I go about things around the house. I’ve mastered using one arm to hold him and the other for everything else such as laundry, preparing food and picking up things around the house. I’ve also been using the ErgoBaby 360 4 way carrier on occasion so I can have both hands available. He can tolerate it for 10-15 minutes at a time, but doesn’t care for it too much.
I’ve never been one to ask for help and that hasn’t change. I’m only comfortable asking Daniel for help since he has seen me vulnerable, otherwise, I always try to manage on my own. It comes from being independent and having to do things for myself. I have asked for help on 2 occasions from my mother-in-law, once when I had my own doctor’s appointment and another time when I needed to buy groceries. I’m lucky to have Daniel’s family nearby, they love Theodore so much.
At some point he’ll want lunch and that can be a battle. I never realized breastfeeding would be so challenging even when the milk came in. I thought teaching him to latch would be the hardest part, but actually there are other challenges. Such as overproduction of milk which I think is happening to me. I have a feeling my milk is coming in too strong and he seems fussy and chokes with the heavy flow… I’ve been trying to pump just a little bit in the beginning to get the “letdown” out so it doesn’t bother him. Or even having him feed on one breast multiple times to make sure he empties it and gets the hindmilk.
The afternoon flies by with multiple feeds, changing, naps and trying to calm him down from whatever is bothering him. If I can manage, I’ll have a quick lunch and start to make dinner. Some days lunch doesn’t happen so I need to make sure my breakfast can sustain me until dinner. Usually I prepare something fast and that I can do with one hand. I try to keep in mind the ingredients that won’t make him gassy. I have a list on my refrigerator of things I can and cannot eat. In the evenings when Daniel comes home, I get to take another quick shower. Yes, I take 2 showers a day, but only because I feel disgusting from all the breastfeeding, spit up and healing that is happening. Plus, I have this weird rule of never going to bed dirty.
We start our evening routines around 10pm and that includes a diaper change, sometimes a bath, fresh clothes and our last feeding. This whole thing can take an hour or two…depending on how Theodore is feeling. Then he’s up again around 2-3am for his nighttime snack and so on…
As you can see, it’s not a real routine, but it’s getting better. I hope to incorporate more outside walks with the stroller once the weather gets a bit warmer or not freezing. And I hope to slowly start working out. I’ve been cleared to go for walks and do yoga, but nothing else. I guess it’s a start. I also purchased a belly bandit to help shrink my midsection.
We’ll see if it works. I’m please to say I lost all my baby weight, but still have a long way to go before I feel fit again. I have a belly and hope to get rid of it, but I’m not in a hurry. It took 9 months for him to come out and it’ll take time before I feel completely like myself.
But for now… I’m happy with how we’re progressing. Let’s hope the next phase we enter will be smooth sailing.