Consider this a “Greatest Hits” post…a lot of random thoughts in one post…hopefully there will be more detailed posts to follow!
Serafina is 4 weeks old today. Wow! Thankfully, Ben started his paternity leave last Wednesday and doesn’t have to go back to work until October 8th. I definitely got to the point of total exhaustion last Thursday. The interrupted sleep apparently caught up to me after 25 days…
But that’s just part of it. I cannot begin to tell you how much more I have prayed these past few weeks than I have in any other period of my life. Probably because when I get up in the middle of the night to nurse her (in a separate room from where we all three sleep…more on that below), there is nothing else for me to do sitting there in that rocking chair but pray. Or fall asleep. And since falling asleep isn’t an option (‘cuz I’d drop her!), prayer it is.
Why nurse her in another room? Because I usually change her diaper during one of the mid-night feedings (she eats twice during the night) and I’d rather do that on an actual changing table rather than on the floor, where I did it the first week. Also, when Ben had to go to work for the first two weeks of school, I wanted him to be as rested as possible for work so I took her into another room to nurse (and be changed). Now this is our routine and I don’t really mind it. I actually enjoy it as it’s my special time with Serafina in the middle of the night. Since it’s dark (I just turn on a small lamp), if she does wake up briefly, her eyes are so big and she focuses so well on my face. It is amazing and totally melts my heart.
And no, we don’t use cloth diapers in the middle of the night. But I do love them! I am so glad we chose to go this route, even in these early weeks. Thanks to very generous family and friends, we have our entire cloth diaper stash for Serafina from birth until potty training and we only had to spend $100! We’ll have to keep buying disposables for nighttime but that’s only 2 diapers a night (maybe 3 tops!) and that is way less than what we’d be spending otherwise.
You might be wondering what it’s like to clean a minimum of 9 cloth diapers a day. Really, it’s not that bad. Honestly, the worst part is the laundry, not using the bidet (sprayer) to spray poop off the diapers into the toilet before washing them. There, was that graphic enough? :) Be grateful I don’t have a picture of that. But seriously, if you hate laundry, you’ll hate using cloth diapers. The cold-rinse-cycle-then-warm-wash-cycle-then-dryer-for-some-things-and-drying-rack-for-others would get old really fast. Something I have discovered, though, is that putting a piece of suede cloth between the trifold diaper and her skin keeps her really dry (she has only cried once or twice from being uncomfortable from her diaper), it sprays off really easily, and the stains come off in the wash! Thanks Melissa for that tip (and passing me your stash!).
This is a “Greatest Hits” post…you might be wondering how breastfeeding is going. Actually, quite well, thanks for asking. WAY better than I anticipated. Granted, she did have about 10 straight days where she puked up the entire contents of her stomach after an evening feeding but that has leveled off a bit. I was really concerned but when I called the doctor, she said not to worry as long as she is still wetting and pooping enough. And let me tell you, she is. Yes, I keep track. There are lots of these sheets for downloading online but I didn’t like any of them (or their fonts) so I made my own. It seems a bit over the top, but it also helps me remember which breast she fed on last. With such a small tummy, I only feed her on one side so she can get to the rich hindmilk before her tummy fills up. If we switched sides 5 minutes in, she’s only get the sweet, thin foremilk from each breast and that doesn’t contribute as much to her overall nutrition. It works for us so we’ll keep it going until told otherwise…
I totally wouldn’t have made it this far without help. SO much of it. I am completely indebted to my mom and sister for being at our house almost every day the first two weeks. Though I was the one spraying off the poop (I can’t ask anyone else to do that) and putting things in the washing machine, I didn’t fold a single piece of laundry nor did I wash a single dish or load/unload the dishwasher. I’m not exactly the napping kind (for those of you that know me well) but I have taken about 10 naps in the 4 weeks since she was born. Really good for me! Friends and family have also been awesome in bringing us meals at least 4 nights a week since we welcomed Serafina.
You might also be wondering how my body is holding up. We don’t own a scale so I don’t know how much I weigh but last time I checked, I was 25 pounds down (I gained 35). It’s funny that 10 silly pounds keep me from fitting in my jeans. Seriously? Oh well…you’re supposed to hold on to 5-10 pounds while breastfeeding, right? I’ll just have to bite the bullet and deal with it. Though I will be quite happy when I can start working out again for real (once I’m cleared at my 6 week postpartum check up…October 2nd!). We’ll see then how my body responds. Until then, I count my blessings every time I am able to go for a walk, nurse Serafina, play with the dog, and cuddle with my husband…who (cliche!) loves me just the way I am.
Which brings me to the best part of motherhood: seeing the love my husband has for our daughter. I knew he loved her before she was born, and I knew how much he loved her when she first arrived, but it is so wonderful to see their love for each other evolve as she becomes more and more aware and interactive. It is so much fun to come downstairs (after he’s taken her after her early morning so I can sleep a little longer) and see them flirting with each other, listening to him talk to her, and watching her respond. She totally recognizes his voice too! It’s all so wonderful. And I also love praying her prayer over her every night. I just put my hand on her (the bassinet is on my side of the bed) while he prays the prayer his family wrote for her (and we refined). We are one blessed family.
More later but that is enough for now! And enough time on the computer…she’s waking up from the nap she’s been taking in the crook of my criss-crossed legs. :)