Postpartum Diaries: 4 Weeks

Is it me or are these getting more depressing each week? I’m sorry! Being a mom to a newborn is hard. Period.  Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me speaking but not knowing what your baby needs or how to comfort their cries is a form of torture to me.  Every time he cries I can feel my body get tense and my mind start to spiral.  Then, as soon as he’s calm, I feel better.  I NEED to stop those cries.  Biology, I’m guessing.  It’s that gene that keeps you from hightailing it out of there and running away to Mexico to start a new life. Kidding, kidding.  Kind of!

Image by Lily Sophia

Maverick is hard. Lily was hard.  I was promised I wouldn’t have two hard babies in a row and yet here we are!  Which gets me thinking, it’s probably not them.  I don’t like to do the “blame game” especially on a fragile new mother like myself but I am about 99% sure that both of my kids would have been much easier if it wasn’t for my damn boobs.  I LOVE that I have the ability to breastfeed my kids.  If you get time, read up on how breastmilk helps build a healthy microbiome and how the biome sets your child up for a healthy life.  The problem is, breastfeeding is really, really hard for many moms.  I have no doubt that breastfeeding was the leading cause of my postpartum depression after I had Lily.  Andy and I talked about what we could do differently this time to make sure I didn’t get depressed.  Call me stubborn but the only thing I wasn’t willing to give up was giving my child breastmilk whether by breast or from pumping.  I don’t judge other women for feeding their babies however they want because TRUST ME I know how difficult it can be.  But for me, I just couldn’t give up breastfeeding when I know I am capable of it and that it is the best thing for my kids.  I have tortured myself trying to nurse my kids.  My oversupply is so extreme that my IBCLC has never seen anything like it in over 30 years.  I thought this time it might be different but it isn’t.  Usually, the only time we can get a calm nursing session is late at night or early in the morning when he’s sleepy and doesn’t suck as hard.  During the day, though, it is bad.  Really bad.

Here’s how it goes every hour:

  • -Maverick wakes up out of dead sleep & immediately screams bloody murder
  • -I strap a silicone pump on my breast to get the foremilk out for 2-3 minutes (the less fatty milk)
  • -As I pump I change his diaper as he continues to scream
  • -We head to the couch or bed where I lay flat on my back with a pillow under the arm of the breast I’m nursing on
  • -I struggle to latch him on (he has a good latch but sometimes he’s so upset he can’t settled)
  • -Once he’s latched I lay completely still and relaxed as he lays on my belly and leans on my arm.
  • -As my first let down happens, I unlatch him and catch the milk into a burp cloth. 
  • -Then I re-latch him. Sometimes it goes well.  Other times, he squirms and writhes in pain the rest of the feed and keeps detaching.
  • -Sometimes he sucks until he falls asleep and other times he starts screaming uncontrollably 
  • -If he’s not asleep we burp him and he usually continues to cry.
  • -Then I try desperately to rock him to sleep or calm him enough to be awake without crying.

Sounds like fun doesn’t it? This happens every hour until 9pm. Luckily, he is still sleeping in 4 to 7 hour stretches.  Lately its usually been 4-5 hours.  I’ll take it! If he sleeps more than 4 hours I have to wake up to pump a little out because my breasts get so full I can’t comfortably lay down.  Usually after I do that, he will wake up and nurse right after.  I’m sure he smells the milk!  He does go back to bed pretty well but if he has any gas he’ll squirm all night long and continuously wake me up.

It’s not easy, mamas. I’m constantly complaining about how I can’t get a minute to myself.  Maverick does not want me to put him down or be held by anyone else. I have things I want to do.  I want to play with my toddler, take a shower, do the laundry, write for the blog, work out or eat lunch with both hands.  Unfortunately, I can usually only get two of those in a day and it’s a stealth operation to lay him down long enough to do it.  I did start wearing him in a baby wrap last week.  It’s hit or miss if he likes it each time.  If you’re a first-time mom its time to get yourself prepared to take at least a month off from being productive.  Your baby will want skin to skin time and if you’re nursing, they’ll be at the boob every 1-3 hours.  Babies usually fall asleep after nursing so you’ll be stuck for a while!  Make sure you have an empty bladder, full cup of water, a snack, remote and a fully charged phone!  Right now, I’m literally typing this with one hand as he awkwardly lays across me.

The lack of independence is tough during these early months.  As much as you love the snuggles, you want to live your life and have some time for yourself, even if it’s just 45 minutes.  I think especially as a second-time mom you value your time to yourself much more. It’s tricky caring for both kids. Andy is spending all of his time with Lily and whenever I get a second to put Maverick down I spend some alone time with her.  Sometimes while I’m feeding Mav, Lily will bring a book over and I’ll read to her with one hand and hold him with the other.  It’s definitely a balancing act!

I’m not working out or eating as well as I want to.  I’m lucky if I get 20 minutes a day to do a few core stabilizing exercises.  I’m looking forward to getting back on a feed-every-two-hours schedule so I can feel like more of a human.  I know so many people say that you’ll miss these times eventually but I am not that girl!  I don’t miss Lily’s newborn days at all.  I thrive starting around 9 months when you can interact more and kids start to give more back to you.  Right around a year to 18 months was my FAVORITE time.  The best part about having a second baby is knowing that it gets better.  It really does.  Lily was hard for so long I thought she would never grow out of it and then one day she just did. She’s a strong-willed two-year-old but this is so much more fun and rewarding than the early days for me.   

My body is feeling pretty good.  My tummy feels a little squishier than it did at the beginning but I think that’s because I’m no longer used to comparing it to a big baby bump ha!  I can tell I have some abdominal separation (diastasis recti) around my belly button so I’m being very careful with how I move.  In 2 weeks, I’ll see my OBGYN for my 6-week check-up and a few days after that I’ll visit my pelvic health therapist.  Once they give me the go ahead I’ll start working out a little more and will hopefully start feeling better.  I’m going to give myself these next two weeks as a grace period and then it’s time to start getting my life together!  At the 6 week check-up with the pelvic health therapist, she’ll do some internal muscle releases which makes sex MUCH less painful. It was life-changing last time. So, Andy and I will wait until my first session with her is over to get back to business!

Can’t believe my little guy is already a month old!  See you next week!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for Something?