So here we are, a few weeks into my fourth trimester. The fourth trimester is a period described by expert Dr. Harvey Karp as the first three months of a baby’s life. It is a time when a newborn is adjusting to life outside of the womb. It’s filled with a tremendous amount of changes and development for the baby and is becoming more recognized as an important phase of a little one’s early days.
I always knew the first few weeks would be hard. I got loads of advice from friends and family and obviously expected little sleep as Logan would need my utmost attention so that I could feed her, change her, rock her, etc. But I never really considered that I’d be doing all that while recovering myself.
Birth was hard for me. After my super long labor, I was fatigued for DAYS. I’m three weeks post delivery and I’m still v v v sore (even though I was lucky and didn’t tear). In fact, today was the first day I was semi-able to get up, get dressed and go for a quick walk around the block with her. Most days I don’t wear pants and have my hair in a messy bun. So I consider that progress!
The first three weeks have been extra stressful. Logan immediately was anti-boob when she was born. She’d come to my breast and just cry or fall asleep. In the hospital, she started losing weight and so they kept us extra nights. Eager to get us out of there and eager to get her back to birth weight, I decided to pump and supplement.
At the end of the day fed is best, and I didn’t want to starve my daughter. Lactation consultants kept coming in and out of the room, three times a day, all sharing tips and tricks and nothing seemed to work. I felt really defeated and I also felt a tremendous amount of pressure to get this figured out.
My milk finally came in the day we got home from the hospital so I decided to exclusively pump 8-12 a day and in the middle of the night to keep her well fed until we could figure this out. After visiting our pediatrician, I quickly found out that she had a tongue and lip tie. After some discussion, we decided to get it revised by a specialist via laser down in Chattanooga. Lots of times, babies have a much easier time latching after the procedure and it’s way less painful for the moms too. This all sounded very hopeful.
So here we are, three days post procedure. Baby girl is still on a boob strike and super fussy/sore. I’m told the first 3-5 days are the hardest. Most days she refuses to latch and anytime she’s near my boob to feed, she just whales. I feel so badly for her. It’s almost like she has to learn how to use her tongue and mouth all over again. More importantly, I just want that connection with her so badly.
I went to more lactation consulting this week and was told to give her a break so she doesn’t get too frustrated and that she might need some body work + craniosacral massage to help ease her jaw tension. Let me add that the procedure comes with three weeks of at home PT exercises that have to be done every 3-4 hours and in the middle of the night so that her revisions don’t re-attach. And none of this is covered by insurance. Le sigh.
So at the end of the day, I’m extra grateful that Logan is healthy and gaining weight but to say the first few weeks with her have been tough would be an understatement. Right now we’re taking it day by day. Each day gets a little better. A little easier. And I’m still hoping for that magic moment she REALLY latches on for the long haul. But I’m also realistic and know that might never happen. And I’m trying to prep myself mentally if that’s the road we have to go down.
MANTRA: Take life day by day and be grateful for the little things. Don’t get caught up in what you can’t control. Accept it and make the best of it. Remember, you alone get to choose what matters and what doesn’t.