Sunday, December 28, 2008

In Love

I am feeling blissed out right now on newborn deliciousness.  There's just nothing like the curled-up soft warmth of a tiny new person, and Violet is amazingly beautiful and sweet and wonderful.  She has a wise ancient face full of inscrutable ponderings, an effect that's intensified by her little wrinkled hands and feet that look like they belong to an old man.  Or maybe she has more of a scrunched-up alien monkey face, but I feel just about as full of love and oxytocin and tenderness at the second description as the first.  Her eyes have already turned to a dark, dark brown like Robert's. When she is awake, she gazes with their lovely chocolate-y depths at us or her sister dancing around or the Christmas tree with an intense mixture of befuddlement and wonder.  We kept expecting Grace's eyes to turn brown in those early months because of recessive genes and all but they have remained a lovely blue, so it looks like I will have one blue-eyed girl and one brown-eyed girl.  This is an idea which charms me excessively.

We went to the pediatrician yesterday for a weight check and Violet was 7 lbs 8 oz, maintaining or up just a touch from her weight when we left the hospital.  Boy, do those less than 8 lbs feel floaty and gossamer...  All of the newborn clothes seem gigantic on her and just like Grace, she sometimes pulls her arms into the torso of her clothes so that we pick her up and find the sleeves empty.  In contrast to her round cheeks, her legs and arms and feet and bottom are all lanky and scrawny with the same newborn spareness that Grace had.  She waves her arms and legs in slow, uncoordinated undulations that suggest life underwater and kneads the air with her long, slender fingers.  Her tininess is giving me a lot of cognitive dissonance about Grace's size; all of the sudden Grace's hands and head and feet seem absolutely gigantic, but then I'll see Grace following Rob around and realize that she too is still a very small person.  Rob and I are engrossed in the lives of these two small people right now, hunkered down in the house in a hazy, sleepy, mostly tranquil existence.

And now I shall moan about my boobs.  AAAAAAH!  The pain!  No, no, I exaggerate for dramatic effect; I am not doing that bad.  I had a hard time getting started breastfeeding Grace because of pain due to latch issues.  We ended up at a lactation consultant who helped our latch problems a LOT and things started to turn around about Day 8 or 9 and I was pretty much pain-free by Grace's 3rd week of life.  As Violet and I started out breastfeeding, I was trying to be so, so careful about her latch but I still have ended up with a not insignificant amount of pain that I'm still dealing with.  Why, oh why?  Lots of the hard-core breastfeeding people say that if you're doing right, it shouldn't hurt at all, but I don't know...  When they are so tiny, their mouths are so little and they have so little head control that it seems nearly impossible to have a perfect latch every time, and they nurse so frequently that any latch problems at all can result in pain and whatnot.  Anyway, my issues are nonnegligible but much more manageable this time around, not in the least because I know that it will get better in a matter of days and what to do in the meantime.  I've gotten out my very favorite breastfeeding book in the whole wide world to refresh myself on what to do, and I'm reminded how awesome that book is.  I cannot sing its praises highly enough; it has such realistic, straightforward ideas and expectations.  And it has the best written description of how to achieve a good latch I've ever come across.  (For more visual learners, the authors have a website with animations and videos and whatnot.)  Anyway, it's Day 6 and I think I've turned the corner and am starting to get better, and I am optimistic that I'll be pain-free in another week or so.  In the meantime, I'm being crazy vigilant about Violet's latch, keeping lots of lanolin and this stuff on myself to promote healing, and above all, most importantly, WITHOUT FAIL, making sure my boobs are never at risk for a direct hit from the shower. 



Amy said...

I remember that the first two weeks of nursing did hurt, both times. Not because of improper latching but mainly because that little bitty baby can really suck! One nurse looked at me and said, "Oh, you'll know when that baby is latched on." Yes indeedy, I sure did.

Sometimes I think that professionals have a different meaning for things (pain, largeness, etc.) than lay people do. For instance, you're told to watch out for large blood clots. To me a large blood clot is maybe the size of a quarter, but they're looking for one the size of a lemon or larger. That doesn't really have anything to do with pain, but surely you get what I'm trying to say? I kind of think that nursing is also sort of like childbirth, after a while, you forget what it is really like.

Anyway, enjoy these first few days with baby. As I'm sure you learned with Grace, they grow so fast.

Kiki@Seagulls in the Parking Lot said...

Oh, do I remember those days. My legs would shoot up in pain when I latched Levi on. It was bad. But, it's better now!

So glad your enjoying and cherishing!