Sunday, January 10, 2010
I Get Around
I have decided to really give babywearing a solid try, and as a result, I've finally been able to unchain myself from the couch! This enabled me to stop by New Seasons' new parents' group last Tuesday to try to meet other hip neighborhood moms (and happily met one Katie: fellow blogger and mother of Jasper, who is one day younger than Oosch). The group mediator, Gracie, showed me another way to wear Zephyr that is much more comfy and doesn't leave his head hanging out in danger's way (the vertical or upright cradle-type hold). This new discovery also enables me to breastfeed easily and discreetly in public - even while I'm walking - though I still feel a little National Geographic walking around with my tit in his mouth. But I'm getting used to it. I bought two other slings (another Kangaroo and a Maya) to complement my wardrobe.
Last week Zephyr and I got out of the house almost every day, which is awesome for my sanity. Lunch with Morgan on Wednesday (Good Taste Noodle House, followed by frozen custard at Tart), and Natasha on Thursday (Cafe Castagna, affording me the opportunity to say hi to Jack) after the Mamalates class I started attending. Zephyr behaved commendably at all events, giving me a new lease on mothering and redefining this "staying-at-home" business.
The boy nurses a lot, and my breasts are pretty tired as a result. Today we experimented with Scott feeding him a bottle of my breastmilk, and he took to it with great aplomb. He really loves milk, no matter where it comes from. And no surprise, then, that Zeph continues to grow at an alarming clip - he is officially 14lbs as of Friday, landing him squarely in the 95th percentile for weight. I love having a sturdy, chubby, happy baby. Even though he's technically still newborn, he doesn't feel fragile, and this gives me confidence as a new mother. I feel like a creamy German milkmaid that my breasts are so nourishing to him. My milk production is so abundant that I've been able to donate some of it to Tanya (to supplement her own milk while she and hearty-eating Sigga settle into their new digs). On the down side, he tends to gulp a lot of air when he eats, and since he often falls fast asleep while I'm trying to burp him, this air gets trapped in his little tummy and gives him gas pains. A gassy tummy is the only reason he ever cries, actually. His pained squalling is truly heart-wrenching, but usually turning him across my lap on his tummy and briskly rubbing his lower back helps soothe, and then he'll let out a loud fart (he often lets out a moan when this happens, which is always hilarious).
Exacerbating the problem is that during his 6-week growth spurt last week, he was eating every hour or so (when he wasn't sleeping in the sling). The gassiness has been temporally magnified such that ol' Toots McBoosh ended up with three blowouts yesterday. Just explosively shat right out the back and sides of his diaper (not to mention the multiple chunky milkbarfs - all in all, I think he ended up with no fewer than five wardrobe changes yesterday).
Following this morning's neck-drenching puke, we gave him a bath. I was getting ready for a shower anyway, so I drew the bath directly into the tub and got in with him. It was nice to be able to hold him up against me and let his little body really stretch out. I held up his head and shoulders so his face was above the water and his body and legs could float out, and he closed his eyes and just sort of checked out for a moment. It was eerie and sweet, as though he was remembering the womb.
After his bath, Scott was drying him off and I could feel my milk let down so I just went ahead and fed him in the tub before hopping in the shower. He snuggled up on Scott when he was getting burped and fell asleep (his M.O.). Whenever he is already asleep, swaddling is a tricky venture. If I try to use one of those velcro swaddlers (like the Kiddopotamus), I end up having to pull him out of his inviting naptime blanket, which is too small and rectangular for using as a swaddle on its own. And the last thing I want to do is attempt to wrangle him into a giant swaddle blanket, trying to finagle some origami on him (and he usually just kicks right out of these). My new trick for this situation is to simply tuck the soft, warm blanket in which he's blissfully slumbering and then tie a thin swaddle blanket around his upper body like a belt. Fast and easy, and this way his arms are restrained so he doesn't Moro himself awake.
Inevitably, though, he wakes up anyway...