One Month With Atticus

We did it!  We kept a human baby alive for an entire month.  Amazing.

I am madly in love with this baby.  I stare at him while he sleeps.  I kiss his face almost constantly.  I can’t believe I ever gave one tiny shit about him being a boy and not a girl because this baby is MY BABY and he is AWESOME and who gives a fuck otherwise.

this baby does not enjoy the bath.

Here is how we are doing on all my hippy/crunchy/attachment parenting adventures!

Breastfeeding:  At the risk of jinxing myself, I think we’re getting the hang out it!  It definitely hurt in the beginning, but this baby figured out the latch concept pretty quickly and it now just hurts a bit (like getting pinched) when he starts and then it’s fine.  During the first two weeks my nipples would randomly hurt throughout the day when the baby was nowhere near them, as if they were being twisted by some asshole, but that has thankfully subsided completely.

I make a LOT of milk in these boobs.  They are enormous and rock-hard when I wake up, and at least half of my shirt is usually soaked.  After the first morning feeding, I usually pump during the next hour or two while he sleeps again, and I’ve been getting about 10-15oz to store away.  I’ll need to stock up more once it gets closer to Going Back To Work time, but for now this easily meets our needs.

I seem to have no shame in exposing my boobs in public (the nine years of burlesque dancing probably helped with that).  I have nursing tank-tops (OH MY GOD I LOVE THEM – SERIOUSLY I DON’T WANT TO WEAR ANYTHING ELSE), so I just pull down the top flap and stick my kid on there no matter where I am.  Most people seem to just ignore it, although this afternoon we were having lunch in a local pub and I was feeding the baby, when a (very drunk, especially considering it was only 3pm) woman walked by, knelt down, and seriously stuck her face about 3 inches from my boob and just stared.  After a few seconds I said “…can I help you?” and she said “how old is it?”  Nice.

So anyway, the breastfeeding is now going pretty well.  The best part is definitely the cute little humming noise that he makes while eating.  Seriously, it’s heart-meltingly adorable.  As is everything else he does.  Fuck, this kid is killing me on a daily basis.  HOW ARE YOU SO FUCKING CUTE.  I need to stop swearing so much.

taking the baby on a mini-hike for my birthday

Baby wearing: We have three strollers, all of which were free hand-me-downs, and none of which have been used yet.  We also have three baby carriers, and I’m using the hell out of them.  Wearing the baby is great!  My hands are free, I can maneuver easily in crowded places, and I can kiss his head as much as I want.  I have the Moby for keeping him all snug up against me and the Beco (Gemini) for long walks or lots of errands.  I also have a sling, which was perfect for awhile – it had the coziness of the Moby but was really easy to pull him out of it and stick him back in – but for some reason he now hates it.  Who knows why.

Co-sleeping:I looooooooooove this.  Tiny little baby sleeping next to me with the quilt pulled up over all of us?  To die for.  Also, at 3am when he’s hungry I can just roll onto my side and give him the boob – no getting up for me!  I do have to turn the light on, though – last time I tried to nurse in the dark, I was getting really frustrated at his failure to latch until I realized he was lying on his back and I was sticking my nipple in his ear.  Awkward.

I want to sleep next to this kid forevvvvvvvver.

Our schedule right now looks like this: I go to sleep around 9/10pm, after feeding the baby.  He sleeps in a cozy little chair thing in the living room, while the Lumberjack stays up on the computer, watching tv, or whatever he does all night long.  He bottle-feeds as needed, from whatever I pumped that morning.  When he’s ready for bed, usually around 3/4am (seriously, he kept this schedule long before the kid showed up), he brings the baby in and wakes me up, I feed him, and we all go to sleep.  The baby usually wakes me up around 5/6 to eat, and then again around 8/9, at which point he & I get up and go to the living room.  Then I feed him again, he sleeps, and I pump and watch bad television.  He wakes up again around noon, which is usually when the Lumberjack gets up, and then we we’re all together until the late evening when I go to bed and it all starts over again.  It’s going pretty well.  The Lumberjack has alone time at night, I have alone time in the morning, and we have family time the rest of the day.  And best of all, I get to sleep for a good 5-6 hours straight!  AWESOME.

he’s one month old! and is in a dumb bulky diaper. boo.

Cloth diapering:Okay, you know what?  I hate cloth diapering.  I feel like a bad liberal/whatever mom for saying that, but it’s true.  I hate it.  They’re bulky, a hassle to deal with, and they stay wet which is no fun for the baby.  Disposables, however, are much easier to handle, and they wick away moisture SO much better.  The baby seems way happier in them.  And it’s 2012, so there are plenty of earth-friendly options out there.  We registered for a diaper service and many of our friends very generously gave us gift certificates, so we’ll keep using the service for awhile, but once we have to start paying for it I think we’ll drop it.  Because seriously, I hate it.  Do you like it?  Can you tell me what I’m missing?

PLACENTA EATING: I did it.  Had placenta smoothie (raw placenta blended into a regular fruit smoothie) the first 2 days post-birth, and have been taking placenta pills (the rest of the placenta, encapsulated) since then.  Has it had amazing effects?  No idea.  I do feel pretty good, though.  Tired, but not exhausted.  Weepy at times, but not depressed.  So, there you go.

I love this baby.

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Atticus: The Birth Story

Since it’s been over 3 weeks, I figured it was high time to actually document all the activity that went down August 26-27, for when I am old and frail and can’t remember anything.

August 26 was The Due Date, and I woke up that morning with insane blood pressure.  Also, I had only slept about 3 hours the night before (the last night before a baby and I get even less sleep than I’m getting now) due to the Lumberjack caving to my pregnancy request for chocolate cake and peppermint ice cream so I was All Hopped Up On Sugar.  We now like to call it the Peppermint Ice Cream and Chocolate Cake Induction.  Man that messed me up.

Anyway!  So my blood pressure was crazy and they told me to come to the hospital.  After the Lumberjack spent about 3 hours doing random chores while I sat on the couch thinking “Holy shit we’re GOING TO HAVE A BABY seriously what the fuck is my husband doing NOW?” we got in the car.  Oh, but first I got in a fight with our neighbor who seriously doesn’t know how to park a goddamn car, so apparently that was the right time for me to explain things to her.  Priorities!  I have them.

my last Sunday pregnancy photo

So, the hospital.  Laura (our midwife) met us there and we saw a doctor who basically said: either we induce now, or you go home and wait until your scheduled induction in 3 days, but your cervix is not at all dilated so there’s really no chance that you’ll go into labor on  your own, which means you’ll be back here in 3 days with the same choices anyway, only you may stroke out and die in the meantime.  I didn’t like this doctor so much.  We agreed that induction was the way to go, only I said a resounding NO to the drugs she wanted me to take to dilate my cervix, seeing as how they can cause fetal death, maternal death, uterine rupture, and so on.  Luckily we got a new doctor right around that time who agreed to put in a bulb catheter thingy, which manually dilates the cervix instead of using medication.  So it was my body making it  happen, not drugs, which is what I wanted.

So!  7pm and we’re in the birthing room, placing the catheter.  It went in super easy, and then we just laid around waiting for Something To Happen.  I think I slept a little?  I can’t really remember.  It was still pretty surreal.  I do remember suddenly puking a lot, and being very happy with how cool the puke bags at the hospital were (seriously – they were very handy).  At 3am the catheter came out, which meant I was 3-4cm dilated and that we could now start labor.  The nurse gave me pitocin at 4am, despite me not wanting it at all.  At least she put me on the low dose?  Anyway, within an hour or so I was clearly contracting away, so she turned it down and eventually off, letting my body doing things on its own.  Like I wanted.  Again.  (Hey western medicine: please let my body do things on its own.)

The sun came up and I was In Labor.  Holy shit!  When they say that it hurts, they are not lying.  You should listen to them.  Goddamn.  I think I handled it pretty well – I stayed super calm and quiet and internal and just did a LOT of focusing and breathing.  We had brought a lot of things to the hospital to “help” – oils, scented lotion, things to hold &/or squeeze, music, etc.  I didn’t want any of it.  I just wanted to sit there with my eyes closed and with midwife & Lumberjack hands pressing on my back while I thought really hard about what was happening inside my body and did my best to keep breathing.

I was pretty exhausted, what with this being my second night with no sleep, so I actually kept falling asleep in between contractions.  At one point I fell asleep and started snoring while sitting on the toilet, with Laura standing nearby to make sure I didn’t fall over.  I spent most of the time lying sideways on the bed and gripping the hell out of the handrails (my arms and back were aching for the next 2 days from the exertion).  They had fetal monitors on me most of the time, so I could see the contractions coming and going.  It was also pretty crazy because the nurse had to keep repositioning them as the baby moved lower – once she was tracking his heartbeat down by my hip, I realized that there was a fucking human being working his way out of my body.  That…was weird.

Around 11am I was 9cm dilated.  At this point I had been sort of pushing with each contraction – not a lot, but enough to feel like I was making progress.  Suddenly, MY WATER BROKE ALL THE FUCK OVER EVERYONE.  It was completely insane.  It was the biggest, most amazingly crazy KAPOW feeling ever.  It felt like all of my insides totally exploded.  I kinda thought I had shit everywhere.  Laura yelled out “your waters broke!  they’re clear!  they’re beautiful!” which was hilarious.

By 11:30 I was at 10cm so I was allowed to start pushing for real.  Laura had my left leg bent up and the nurse had my right leg pulled out and the Lumberjack was petting my head and my mom was…trying to take pictures.  The fuck?  I couldn’t verbalize anything at this point so I just started wagging my finger at her and yelling “no!  no!  no!” until the nurse said “uh, I don’t think she wants you taking pictures right now.”  SERIOUSLY.

little naked baby

The pushing was hard, but it was the first time that I actually felt somewhat in control of the process, so it felt really good.  This was the part I got to DO, rather than just letting things happen to me.  The nurse got all up in my face, yelling at me to hold my breath and push for 10 seconds at a time – she even counted out on her fingers, right in front of my nose.  She later apologized for getting too drill sergeant on me, but it was actually awesome.  I just stared at her hand and made it happen.

I made it happen a little too fast, actually, because the nurse was suddenly on the phone all “GET IN HERE NOW” to the doctor and he was literally still pulling on his haz-mat suit (he looked like one of the bad guys from E.T. – it seemed a little like overkill) when he had to GRAB MY KID.  I don’t really remember a “ring of fire” or anything more intense than anything else, but I do remember feeling this slithery motion like a fish was getting out of me and then BAM.  Baby.  On the bed.  My baby.  7lbs, 15oz, born August 27 at 12:10pm.

He shit all over himself.  I did not shit the bed – the baby took care of it.  He was blue, so they whisked him off to the little warming table across the room.  I was instantly totally alert, and yelled at the Lumberjack, “Let’s do that again!”  He was a little distracted with the baby not breathing well, though.  I was still in the bed, so I couldn’t see what was going on, but my mom and the Lumberjack were both with him, talking to him, and they later said it was a little scary for a bit.  I’m glad I missed out on that.  All I got to see was them bring him back to me with his wide open eyes and curious long fingers.  I pulled him under the blanket and pressed his little naked body against my chest, and then I was a mom.  Bizarre.

the Sunday after I popped out a baby.

Photoshoot

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Grandma wanted to take pictures, baby just wanted to find his goddamn lunch (hint: it’s not in my armpit, kid).

Atticus!

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We named the little squawker! I can’t get over this baby thing. I HAVE A BABY. So bizarre. He’s still consuming all my time & energy, but a longer post is on its way soon. Once I stop staring at this little face, that is.