“Seriously, you better have a great day!”
To celebrate Dash’s successful one month appointment last week I went out and bought a new pair of running shoes.
My last pair expired while I was pregnant so I didn’t replace them. I have been thinking about my next pair of shoes for, oh, probably about 5 months. New running shoes are so exciting to me. So clean and white and ready to go. I went back to Garry Gribbles to get fitted because I have heard that many women’s shoe size change after pregnancy. I also wanted to try out a different brand.
Dash was 5 weeks old yesterday so I have about a week and a half before my 6 week postpartum doctor’s visit. I am waiting until then before starting back to doing anymore exercise than our daily walk.
I have decided to only do “growth” pictures with Dash and his monkey monthly so here is a photo of him from yesterday getting ready for our walk. It was chilly so he got to break out a hat.
While visiting my family last week I think we witnessed Dash’s first official smile. He has had lots of involuntary smiles, but when my uncle Darrell came up to him and tickled his tummy he responded with a big grin. It was great because so many people got to see it.
Thursday morning while his was on his activity mat I got my first official Dash smile. I was in the kitchen getting some breakfast and I heard him grunting. I got down and was talking to him and right when he saw me he smiled. It was great.
Here is a link to some tummy time on his mat minus any smiling, but with another trick.
Life with a one-month-old is still a lot of work! Who knew? Anyway I have an update, but haven’t found time until now to get on and share it. This is a long post so in case you don’t make it all the way I first want to say thank you to everyone who has offered support to us throughout this process.
Last week Zach looked at me and said, “if we lived in Lincoln, this would all be over, wouldn’t it?” referring to our struggles with nursing. He said we should just go because that was no crazier than continuing to call various doctors around here not knowing who might help us and who might treat us like we have asked to cut off our sons pinkie toes. But let me back up.
In Lincoln there is a non-profit breastfeeding center which exists to help women breastfeed their babies. MilkWorks offers classes, consultations, and whatever else you might need for support in breastfeeding. Plus they have a gift shop filled with darling baby stuff. I went there for a breastfeeding class while pregnant because the BFF had gone and said it was a big part of her success with breastfeeding. The doctor on staff there is also the one who released my cousin’s tongue tie and helped my aunt so we knew we would get answers. I decided that whatever she told us would be the final answer on whether Dash had a tongue tie that could be clipped. Then I would be able to move on whatever that would mean. And at the very least we would get to see some of my family.
So we made an appointment without a lot of hassle and Monday morning drove back to our roots. (We lived in Lincoln while Zach attended law school.) Monday was a big day for us. We had our first road trip – it went fairly well. We had our first car feeding and gas station diaper change – also went fairly well except when the guy wearing camo came out to get in his truck parked next to us and Zach didn’t alert me to make sure I was covered up until after he got in his truck.
Then we had our first visit with a doctor who actually listened to us, evaluated our son, and then helped us – it was fantastic. There was no question in her mind that he was tongue-tied and she had done a procedure on a baby the day before with the same situation as Dash. We signed the paperwork and TWO MINUTES later she brought him back to me and he was nursing. No anesthesia, no horrible bleeding, no baby scarred for life. She had said that because he had been nursing with the tongue tie he had learned to suck incorrectly so we might have some rehabilitation work to do before I noticed a reduction in pain, but the minute he latched on it felt differently. In fact I wasn’t sure he had actually latched on at first because the only way I was able to judge that before was by the level of pain.
I imagined that after all this I would be crying from relief, but as we drove back home I realized that I was still waiting for something to go wrong. We do have some work to do – Dash and I both need to relearn how to do this. This has been such an ordeal that I couldn’t accept that this might be the end or at least the beginning of the end to our troubles.
Now a few days later I still have pain from the damage done from trying to nurse a baby who wasn’t latching on properly, but I am treating it and now that his tongue is released I won’t be moving from one injury to the next. (If you are ever interested in the specific ailments I will be happy to elaborate, but not that I am not in pain I can see a little more clearly that maybe not everyone wants to hear about it.)
The most important thing that I learned from this experience is about expectations. I spent weeks saying, “why doesn’t anyone tell you breastfeeding will be so hard?” What I realized is…they do tell you, but you don’t hear it. Maybe this is just true of me, but I think plenty of women said that nursing was difficult. What I heard was it was difficult for them, but for me it would be different. It was like having an epidural during labor. I knew many more people who had gotten an epidural than those who had made it through without, but what I heard was that it was hard for them, but it would be different for me. I had been practicing yoga, practicing breathing, and practicing holding a baby doll to my chest to simulate the correct cradle hold for nursing. For me, this was going to be easy.
I don’t know what lesson I will take from this realization, but maybe it will be to listen better. Going through labor made me appreciate and understand my mother in a way I never could have without going through childbirth, but maybe I can learn to listen and believe people without having their experience myself. My mom always said, “I made these mistakes already. Can’t you learn from me?” The answer has always been no, I have to do it myself.
Anyway, the baby boy is still growing and currently sleeping soundly which means I should be sleeping not blogging so I will end by rewarding you with some photos. If you read this far you deserve some pictures of the little guy visiting his family.
With his great grandparents:
With his great aunts:
And with his second cousins:
Look at how fantastic this is:
I don’t know what to do with it yet, but I will figure it out. For now it is sitting on our island in the kitchen so I can keep admiring it.
We have maybe another month of our veggies until the season ends for this year. It has been a great trial run for us. We cooked and ate our veggies and fruit from our CSA much more than I expected. We ate veggies we would have never bought at the store and liked them. We found new uses for veggies we had not liked in the past, like sauteing radishes. This turned out maybe to be one of our most favorite dishes.
Since Dash arrived on the scene we haven’t cooked much – at all – mainly because we have been getting wonderful meals from our friends and family and haven’t had to feed ourselves yet. But I did cook once this week because we had some summer squash and tomatoes to use up. We have been eating most of our produce raw, but I had a quick recipe for squash and tomatoes sautéed over pasta so I ventured back over to the stove and made us some lunch.
I threw some fresh basil in there as well. It was tasty.