Holy two months, batman! I can’t believe you’ve been here with us for two months already. It’s been a blur. I had planned to write or commemorate every month, but, again, blur.
For history’s sake, let’s recap. There was your 45 hour birth, which I’ll save for another post, then 6 hours later, we zombied ourselves home and went to bed. We cuddled and stared and skin-to-skinned and nuzzled your sweet face. We visited the midwives on Day 2 and things seemed to be going swimmingly, except they had to collect blood twice from your tiny, still peel-y, heels. On Day 3, your dad dropped us and your Grammy off at breastfeeding support group at The Mamahood as I had a suspicion that all was not right after all. Guru Amanda strongly suspected you had a tongue and lip tie. She instructed me to stop breastfeeding and switch to pumping and bottle feeding until your oral anatomy could be corrected, since your restricted tongue and lip would not allow you to have a proper latch. We were miraculously able to get an appointment to see Dr. Jesse for the laser release the next day, but I spent that afternoon crying over how you must have been feeling hungry and thirsty, then springing into action securing donor milk from our wonderful friends (thanks for sharing, Marion, Harriet, and Emerson!) and setting up an appointment with the pediatrician’s office to get a prescription for milk from the milk bank too. Day 4 was pediatrician’s office, dentist’s office for your laser procedure, then a follow-up blood draw at the lab. We both cried a bunch. It was all way too much for your hormonal mama 4 days after pushing you into this world.
After that whirlwind, life got more mundane, but not exactly calm. Pop came to join Grammy, plus Oma and Opa for a few weeks. Friends brought us delicious meals and I tried to summon the energy to shower. As your tongue and lip were healing, I pumped and we fed you bottles. The rolls of washi tape and sharpies we used to label the bottles are still scattered around the house. We went back to breastfeeding support group a few times and you got to meet Dr. Julie, the chiropractor too. Through it all, you screamed and cried and screamed and cried. We became proficient at the 5 S system, suddenly finding ourselves with opinions on different swaddling techniques, and I gave up my notion that we’d be waiting a month to give you a pacifier. We haven’t left the house without gripe water in 6 weeks.
The list of things we’ve attempted in hopes of easing your tummy pain is extraordinary. Dietary changes on my part, every variety of drops - conventional and homeopathic, warm compresses, lots of babywearing, block feeding, pricey essential oils, and then some. Every new idea offers a glimmer of hope and some have given you some relief, but we’re finally resigned to just waiting it out. You still writhe and squirm in my arms, clawing my chest, several times a day. I hate to think how many times in your sweet life I'll have to see that pained look in your eyes and be able to do nothing except hold you close.
Oh, but you’re also smiling now. Talk about a game changer. We love the love we see in your face. We love that you think poop jokes are funny, that the Looney Toons theme song cracks you up, and that dog kisses evoke a shy smile. Get used to those, buddy.
And we’re getting out of the house. Nursing you in public still presents some mental and logistical challenges for me, but practice makes practice. And so we practice, sometimes in quiet corners, sometimes in the middle of the action. We practice often at Huckleberry, the perks being that we get to see your dad and other people who love you and that no one can give us dirty looks. Ha! You’re spending more time awake and smiling at friends (and less time screaming in pain), so getting out of the house seems less futile. It’s good for both of our brains, I’m convinced.