This tiny person is a week old today!
The past week has been spent healing, problem solving, getting to know Ellen, and riding the postpartum roller coaster.
Healing is going well, as far as I can tell. I don’t dare do much investigation, but I am convinced things are going as they should “down there”. And after the tongue/lip tie revision, I believe my nipples will be on their way to healed soon too.
Problem solving has yielded great results, especially with breastfeeding. Ellen hit/exceeded her birth weight today at our lactation appointment which was a required follow-up to the tongue/lip tie revision. Finding out her weight was a bonus (also, she eats twice as much in a feeding than an average 1 week old, my little hippo!), but the real purpose of the visit was to check her latch with her new anatomy. The lactation consultant said everything looked great and sent us on our way. Yay!
Another awesome development today is that I didn’t need to pump one single time. The engorgement phase seems to have passed quickly this time around with some clever problem solving, following advice from the first lactation visit, and a little bit of sudafed to “dry me up” a smidge.
Getting to know Ellen will be a lifelong journey, I’m sure. But this first week has revealed a pretty even keeled infant who isn’t particular about anything. She’s just as happy to be held as she is to hang out in a rocker, and she doesn’t care if the rocker is rocking or just stays still. She will take a bottle, a pacifier or the boob. She’s cool with a ride in the car. Doesn’t mind going out shopping or whatever. Basically, as long as she’s fed, she’s cool.
The postpartum roller coaster is not my favorite ride. I’m definitely doing better this time than I did with Lewis, but I still have moments that feel really heavy and hard.
Today, for example, the feeling of missing Lewis weighed on me to the point that it brought me to tears. I made a conscious effort to be a part of his morning routine and to pick him up from school, hoping that would fill my cup a bit. I even requested (and received) a bunch of hugs and kisses out of him. But none of that felt like enough.
I guess you could say I’m grieving the loss of his only-childness. No one ever mentioned to me how sad I would be about that. It is quite difficult for me to go from being able to fully focus on this wonderful, interactive human to being mostly focused on a human who can’t give anything back yet. Ellen is, of course, also wonderful. But I miss the reciprocation and feedback and laughs and silliness. And even the sass and backtalk (I never thought I’d say that)!
Infants can’t give any of that to you. It is just selfless giving of yourself to this sweet, innocent person who relies on you completely. It is a special, important thing to care for an infant. And I love it – truly I do. All I’m saying is that I love Lewis too, and I miss him so much my soul aches. And I wish someone had warned me about this feeling.
All in all, I would say we’ve had a good first week. I expected both ups and downs, even if I didn’t know exactly what shape they would all take. I’m looking forward to a week two that hopefully brings some more emotional stability.