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Thursday, 7 April 2005

ketchup


A more substantial post about the exciting world of newborn babies and new mothers is overdue, although I hope you've been enjoying the pictures. Jack is starting to think that mummy is a creature with a large lens for a face.

We both have our 6 week check tomorrow with the doctor, and I'm sure we'll pass with flying colours. Not that I know exactly what is being checked, but I'm pretty sure we're fine. I always had the impression that c-section recovery ended by 6 weeks, probably because the only thing anyone ever hears about is the fact that you can't drive for 6 weeks. The truth is, I don't feel back to normal yet by any stretch of the imagination. My scar is still tender and it still hurts when I move around or try to lift anything. I am definitely better than I was a couple of weeks ago, but I can't do essential tasks yet like lift Jack's buggy out of the car. What's annoying is that a woman from my antenatal class is able to walk her dog with her baby in a sling - and she had a c-section a few days after me. So why am I still feeble? It seems that some women feel fine and dandy after a couple of weeks, and some still feel pain in their scar years later. I really, really don't want to fall into the latter category.

Having said all that, I am feeling better overall. Although I don't think you ever get used to a lack of sleep, you do learn to cope with it and it doesn't seem too bad on the most part. On the nights that Jack only wakes to feed once in the night (e.g. he sometimes feeds at midnight, 4am, and 8am), I feel pretty good the next day. Coming from someone who couldn't even speak on less than 8 hours sleep a night, this is quite remarkable. Jack is on mixed feeds, which has made a huge difference in our nighttime routine. He gets bottles through the night (either expressed breast milk or - *gasp* - formula), which allows him to fill his belly each feed. When I breastfed during the night, he'd latch on, feed for five minutes, fall asleep (and trust me, I could not wake him for the life of me), and then wake up screaming an hour later because he hadn't eaten enough (and take ages to settle). Now he empties his bottle and goes back to sleep for another 3-4 hours without much fuss. He's getting enough to eat, I'm getting some sleep, and retaining what's left of my sanity. Part of the problem with recovering from a c-section is that I was exhausted most of the time and it's difficult to get Jack into a good position to feed without putting pressure on my scar. When I'm extremely tired, I don't produce much milk. The leads to a very grumpy baby and a very stressed mother. Giving my baby formula this early might make me a minion of Satan, but we're all much happier now.

Jack is turning into a proper little baby. He makes noises to amuse himself and soaks in the world around him. You can tell that he's becoming much more aware of everything around him and his newly acquired ability to smile has marked the change from newborn to growing baby. It's nice; newborns are extremely passive (and demanding), but they become more responsive as they get older. Jack and I often spend time just staring at each other - I look at him in complete wonderment and awe, and he stares at me trying to figure out what this fuzzy blob thing that feeds him is.

The good days now far outweigh the bad, and now I only get teary at things that actually do warrant tears (like some episodes of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and when I tell Jack I love him every morning). Maybe the 6 week recovery doesn't apply to my scar, but there has been definite improvement in my wobbly new mother legs. I'm sure the scar will follow.

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