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.
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.
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.
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.
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.