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Go Ask Mom

New mom: What she's learned in six weeks

Posted June 14, 2010
Updated June 15, 2010

1. This is still hard. It's getting easier, but I'm not sure if it's because Asher is starting to better adjust or because we are becoming numb to it.

2. This kid is so freaking cute I cannot stand it. (Am I bad mom that I seem to think he's cuter and enjoy him much more when he's well-behaved?)

3. Breastfeeding gets awesome(ish). I am starting to look forward to some of the early morning nursing sessions. His wide eyes looking at me. Knowing that I'm the only one that can provide for him in this way. Sigh. Meanwhile, I guess my supply has steadied. I don't feel any different unless hours go by without feeding or pumping - then I feel it. For a while I was worried that my breasts were broke, but then I realized they are just working pretty darn well.

4. Growth spurts are dreaded. We had one - that lasted a whole week - at three weeks.

5. Milk supply can be directly related to sleep. By the end of the day, Asher nurses much longer. I think it's because my supply is less and it takes longer to get what he needs. The lactation nurse told me the best thing to do is rest more. Apparently, the body secretes a hormone that tells you to produce more milk when sleeping. She said even a 15 minute nap can help. So, I've tried to work in as many naps as possible, but some days Asher doesn't cooperate. Those are the days I'm glad I have a mini supply in the freezer for back up.

6. Pumping is weird. I pump every morning after his first feeding. This is usually between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. My body is supposed to recognize this happening daily and provide more milk during that time. I guess it's working. The key is to relax, relax, relax. Me? I was staring at the bottles wondering why nothing was coming out and worrying that my child must be starving if this was my flow. When I relaxed, hooked the pump pieces on with my nursing tank and put my feet up - more milk! It's still not as much as what Asher is likely consuming at every feeding, but we're making progress.

7. He smiles. Ah, he smiles and it's beautiful.

8. His hair is falling out. He has the hairline of an old man. It's not coming out the back, it's coming off the top. I hope it stops soon.

9. I hate cleaning bottles and breast pump parts. Daily. Multiple times. Blah.

10. Asher has his "witching hour" daily. It used to be late afternoon. Now, it's shifted to evening. Every night from 9 until 11 he screams. Sometimes it's because he needs to poop and we think "OK, he'll calm down now." Wrong. He keeps screaming. And I try to feed him a lot during this time wondering if he's hungry. And like clockwork, he settles down around 11. I hope he grows out of this soon before we lose our minds.

11. Our house is being taken over with baby stuff. It drives me bonkers.

12. I hate baby acne. I want it to go away and leave my baby boy's face alone.

13. Asher isn't fond of his car seat. He screamed around the Beltline the other day. Sometimes he'll sleep, but after about 1.5 hours in it, he's miserable. Sweaty and miserable. I don't know how we're going to manage trips to the beach and such.

14. He also doesn't seem to enjoy stroller rides. I have tried multiple times and it never fails that when I get out off of our street and into the neighborhood, he screams. And he doesn't stop. I'm never going to lose this weight if this keeps up.

Kira is the Raleigh mom of newborn boy Asher. Read all about her adventures with Asher on her blog Grits, Grins and Gripes.

22 Comments

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  • kpeele Jun 18, 2010

    Kira, here are two bits of info I like to pass along to the new moms I meet. The first is a website called H.U.G. Your Baby (hugyourbaby.com). It's a creation of a triangle area FNP that gives help, understanding, and guidance for young families. She explains on the website, blog, and DVD how to better understand your baby's communication skills so you can help your baby eat, sleep, play, and stay calm more easily. Second, you mentioned doing some walking and exercise. Healthy Moms NC is a triangle company that offers exercise classes for prenatal and postpartum moms (and their babies). When you and Asher are ready they have stroller exercise classes (you push baby while getting a serious workout) and mom & baby water aerobics classes. They also have several other postpartum classes for just mom. It sounds like you'll be going back to work at some point and they also offer evening and weekend classes. Their website is healthymomsnc.com.

  • Lickad Jun 18, 2010

    I guess a side effect of having a baby is inconsideration.

  • a778671 Jun 18, 2010

    Girl, don't listen to people like Mugu. All that matters is you and your family, nothing else. People like Mugu have feet, if they don't want to hear a fussy child, they can move, or turn up the volume on their portable audio device. It’s a free country, don't feel like you have to confine yourself to your house like some inmate, uh uh girl. Come on out and live life with the rest of us. Just because people like Mugu do not play well with others doesn’t mean you should restructure you life to accommodate them. What’s more important is that you get the things done you need to do; exercise and errands included.
    In 10 years taking your child on constant strolls and getting exercise will have more impact on both his and your growth than will passing Mugu on aisle four by the can vegetables. Live, love and enjoy life, the good and the bad, because in the end we only get one shot at it.

  • Mugu Jun 18, 2010

    Kira, please don't.

  • Kira Jun 18, 2010

    Very well put, kpeele. Thanks for your kind words.

    I am very, very aware of my child crying. It takes every ounce of courage and energy in me to venture out of the house alone, not knowing how my infant may respond to the adventure. In addition to worrying about what others may be thinking around me, I am doubly concerned about what is troubling my child. I doubt you'll find a parent anywhere that takes their child out to torture those around them.

    I will continue to be brave, get out and about and hope for patience and understanding from those around me. And eventually I have faith that he'll learn to enjoy the outings. :)

  • kpeele Jun 18, 2010

    Trust me that new parents are keenly aware of their child crying. A new mom's body even physically responds to her newborn's cries. I was merely trying to find a polite way to point out that part of living in society and sharing the human experience is the fact that we all have to put up with things we don't like: rude people, bad driving, dogs barking at night, people using inappropriate language in front of our children, older people who take longer to do things, and yes, crying babies. If we can all be a little more patient and understanding with each other then we become better people and thus create a better society in which to live. New parents need all the encouragement they can get and I think it would be great for this to be a place for positive comments instead of discouraging words.

  • Lickad Jun 17, 2010

    16: You may try to ignore rule 15 and think that people are actually very understanding when it comes to little babies fussing in public and that most people have been in your shoes and can empathize... but you are wrong. People can't stand it.

  • kpeele Jun 17, 2010

    I've found that many people are actually very understanding when it comes to little babies fussing in public. Most people have been in your shoes and can empathize because they remember that it's nice for the parents (especially mom) to actually get out in the world and feel like a human being again...and you can't help it if the baby gets fussy just when your food arrived at the table.

  • Mugu Jun 16, 2010

    Here is another thing you should learn:

    15: If you are out in public and your baby starts to fuss, cry or have a tantrum, take the baby outside where it is not disturbing the general public, especially the one who don't have kids cause they don't want to deal with that kind of stuff.

    Just because you are used to the crying and fussing and can tune it out does not mean that we can. Please quit being inconsiderate and do the right thing.

  • finch96 Jun 15, 2010

    You might want to check out Dr. Sears' Fussy Baby Book. It was a sanity saver for me.

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