Two weeks and finding our footing

Well, our little man has been here for a full two weeks now, and it’s hard to make sense of the time in the context of our “Pre-Baby Scale” at this point. Two weeks feels like it’s gone by so quickly in some ways, yet I can’t really remember exactly what my life before Russ was like. Whatever the case, I would never be able to go back – this beautiful little boy has absolutely turned our lives upside down, in such a wonderful way. In fact, he’s blogging with mommy today – I have him laid out in his “bassy” (bassinet) next to me as I type this.

Russ is making hilarious faces already, and I can tell he’s going to have a bit of a sarcastic, funny personality like both his parents – after all, he’s practically perfected his “smirk” face, and he’s only 15 days old now! He smiles more every day, and oh my goodness…it is the most beautiful smile in the whole wide world! It just warms my heart every time he does that. Even if it just means that he’s passing gas…

The baby blues were a real tough thing to go through for me, but they finally let up late last week, around Thursday or Friday. I can finally imagine Russ growing up, look at pictures from his birth, and watch him sleep without wanting to cry from the overwhelming, amazing, frightening, and humbling nature of it all. My mom was honest to tell me that she experienced baby blues with all four of her kids, and that it was never worse than with the last child. I’m assuming it’ll be the same for me, so my time with the baby blues is probably not over, but at least now I know that it’s normal and I know what to expect whenever another baby comes around.

Actually, on the topic of another baby…I’m not really sure what to do at this point about birth control. My doctor told me to think about it, but I’m not sure what to think. See, I don’t do hormonal birth control very well. By that I mean you name it – Loestrin, Ortho, Yaz, Nuvaring, Depo, etc., etc., etc. – I have tried it and it made me a crazed, water-retaining, clinically depressed, hateful, sleepless, night-sweating, horrific MESS. I sincerely mean it when I say that I’d rather end up like the Duggar lady with the 19 kids (I know I pick on her a lot, but I actually really like her! She’s a tough cookie!) than ever be on birth control again. It’s just horrible, and Jonathan can attest to the fact that I don’t do birth control well. So, for me, it’s either the Paraguard IUD or nothing. Not sure how that’s going to go, but I’m honestly not that worried about it. Our general plan and hope is that we’ll put about 3 years behind us before we start another pregnancy. We want to spend lots of time focusing on Russ and getting to where he’s potty trained and all that – and just generally ready to help us welcome a brother or sister – before we venture into plural parenthood. But if it happened sooner than “our plan,” that would be okay, and certainly worth not having to go through the awful experience of being on hormonal birth control ever again. We’ll see what happens, I guess! I know I’m not the only woman I’ve talked to who feels like hormonal forms of birth control just aren’t suited for her body chemistry. I’m happy for women who have good experiences with it, but for me, it’s just not an option. I have to be mentally and emotionally stable for my son and husband, and it’s not worth the 99% effectiveness rate to have to deal with the crap I go through when I’m on that stuff. Yuck…

Though it hasn’t really been at the forefront of my mind, it has been interesting, going through the shrinking of my body back to its pre-pregnancy form (or some semblance of it, anyway). Today I got a wild hair and decided to put on my favorite pre-pregnancy jeans (the ones that I haven’t put on since I was about 12 weeks along). They’re a size 8 from the Gap that I bought maybe two years ago, and I really expected them to not even zip, much less button. But I’m happy and thrilled to say that they are QUITE snug, but they do zip and button! And I only have a teensy bit of a muffin top in them, even! Makes me really happy, since all I’ve really been doing is breastfeeding, sleeping, eating, and walking a mile a few times here and there since the birth. Breastfeeding is really no joke – I am constantly thirsty and pretty doggone hungry, too. I’m trying to make categorically “good” choices, but we’ve been so blessed to have some women from our church bringing us food a few nights a week – and MAN, it has been so yummy! From pot roast to blackberry crumble to brownies to cookies…did I mention I love the ladies from our church? Okay, well, I love them!

And breastfeeding is still going really well for me and Russ both. He seems to be getting plenty of food, and he’s growing really well. At his two-week baby check-up Monday morning, he weighed 8 lbs., 3.5 oz. – up several ounces over his birth weight of 7 lbs., 14 oz.! He’s been spitting up a bit here and there, so I try to burp him really well after each feeding, and I have him sleeping on a bit of an incline in his bassy. The bassy and the swing – Russ loves them both, and seems to be sleeping really well.

All in all, the first two weeks of parenthood have been great, we really can’t complain. Even the bit of sleep deprivation is pretty manageable (I give Jonathan some leeway in the middle of the night when it come to getting up to care for Russ, since he’s back at work now and I’m still at home). I nap when I need to, and for the first two days of this week, my mom was here with us – she was SUCH a life saver! You know life has officially changed when just being able to take a shower without worrying about your baby becomes a new luxury. Mom also helped a ton with laundry and things of that sort – and she really came in handy Tuesday when Russ’s “umbie” finally fell off! Silly thing was hanging by a single thread and we were able to wait until he was still to use a pair of sterilized nail scissors to snip the last little string that the cord stump was dangling by. It really was off, just had this little string of gunk that was keeping it from falling into his onesie or diaper – no major stuff going on, we promise! I’ll confess, I did not keep the umbie because it looked gross and smelled even worse. But throwing it away was a job I left up to Jonathan because it was just too sentimental for me to toss that last remnant of the amazing pregnancy journey during which Russ was still connected to me. I guess his cute little belly button will always be a reminder of that time, though.

In an hour or so, daddy will be home to take me and Russ over to the middle school track to walk for a little bit before dinner, so I’m outta here!

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