Walker is now two weeks old and he’s a very good baby. (As a matter of fact, the pediatrician, who is also named Mimi, called him a “perfect baby.” I knew I liked her.) I spend most of my day sitting and feeding him or changing him although I’ve been able to get out a few days a week to do errands, go to appointments or meet friends. He had his second week doctor appointment and our goal was to get him back up to birth weight. He was born 7lbs 7oz and went down a mere 4oz. In the week between visits, he gained a pound so he’s now a whopping 8lbs 3oz (and gaining more and more by the minute) — did I mention he eats and eats and eats and eats? I think he’s going to be a Sumo Wrestler before his 6 week birthday.
He’s getting a schedule now which is both good and bad. Walker is a good sleeper — at night. He still gets up every few hours but now that he’s more than birth weight, I don’t have to wake him up, he can sleep as long as he can which is getting a bit longer every night. Last night we went 5.5 hours between feedings which makes me super happy.
Walker has decided that if he sleeps during the day, he might miss something. So, he’s wide awake most of the time with a few 15 minute cat naps that generally happen (during and) after feedings. If he stays up, he grazes rather than hunkers down for a meal so I’m pretty much attached to him throughout the day making civilized life a bit of a challenge. There are days when at 6pm I have the realization that I’ve never changed out of my jammies or brushed my teeth.
I have found out that I can combat the “awake” syndrome by holding him while he sleeps. If he falls asleep and I put him down, they sneaky guy knows and almost immediately wakes up. Based on conversations with friends I’ve found that this is pretty standard. This means that I’m either sitting down with him on my lap or I’m walking around with only the use of one arm. I’m planning on leveraging this to build some upper body strength by incorporating him into some exercise routine but I haven’t quite figured out how to really incorporate him into other chores like dishes or cooking. I’ve decided he’s my little accessory and I may begin to dress him to compliment my wardrobe (which isn’t too difficult since, as I mentioned previously, that I’m not getting out of my jammies. Everything goes with over-sized plaid flannel, right?)
Speaking of wardrobe, I have to give a shout out to our friend Marc Bernardin (creator of the soon to be published AiT graphic novel Monster Attack Network and Senior Editor of Entertainment Weekly), who sent us the Peepee Teepees that we use to save us from the unexpected “spray” which we’ve been blessed with already more than we’d like to admit.
I’d like to take a moment and express my awe at all those women who have babies and other small children as well as all those single mothers out there. You guys are amazing. I don’t know how you juggle it all and get enough sleep so you don’t feel like taking a hostage when you’re faced with one more dirty diaper.
Regarding feeding, it’s a very interesting thing. Yes, it’s “free” to breastfeed your infant. Formula is very expensive and breastfeeding is supposed to be so much healthier for your child. However, I was unprepared for all the adjunct products and services required to support breastfeeding. The ecosystem must be billions of dollars and it seems to be getting bigger and bigger. You’ve got your breastpumps (which run cheap for the manual ones to hundreds of dollars for the automatic double pumpers), your nursing bras, your nursing pads (to ensure you don’t have embarrassing spots on your shirt when your child cries — or another child cries — for food), your salves and lotions for keeping everything “comfy”, your nursing pillows (yes, there are many different options out there and I have TWO of them — one which I wear around my waist like a tutu and have nicknamed my TV tray as Walker just lies on top while I watch TV), and let’s not forget the services which include lactation consultants and support groups. Phew. I just scratched the surface. I think I may have to start some sort of business around this whole mommy thing if there’s so much money in one small niche of mommyhood. Hmmm. Perhaps I’ll add this to my list of things to ponder during middle-of-the-night feedings.
I did attend a “support group” as this whole breastfeeding situation isn’t one of those “oh, it will come so naturally to you” things. Growing up with National Geographic, I’d seen the pictures with new mothers going about their daily business of farming, cooking, washing clothes — all with a child breastfeeding like it was no big deal. How the heck do they do it? I have to be in the “zone.” I have to repeat a few instructions as if they’re mantras to ensure we’re working as a team to get a good “latch.” It’s a good thing Walker is so darn cute, that I am a patient woman, and I’m competitive enough to work through all these challenges to prove to myself I CAN make this easy. And after a feeding it warms my heart to see Walker’s satisfied little smile, hear his happy little gurgles, and then hear (and feel) his big, huge, FART. It’s all his baby way of saying, “Thank you mommy for the wonderful meal. I should think I will partake of this again in an hour or two.” You see, he’s very polite about the whole affair.
But, after all my hard work and sometimes even “significant discomfort” (to put it mildly), Walker has the audacity of SPITTING UP. Yes, he unthankfully regurgitates what I’ve worked so hard to produce and deliver. Cheeky little monkey. He just spits up all over his clothes and just smiles and smiles as I desperately look for a burpie cloth and think about the third or fourth outfit of the day that must go into the wash. And I’m becoming a connossiour of all the different types of spit. I won’t go into them here as it’s almost as gross a reading about the different types of poop that babies have. Suffice it to say that we’ve experienced them all and nicknamed Walker “Cheesey Pete.”