Friday, July 11, 2008

D and Baby, Night Weaning

E and I had lunch with my friend D and her six-week-old baby yesterday. It was the first time we'd met the baby, and she was awfully sweet, of course. It was strange holding such a little one again now that E's so big. I could've held her for hours. I wasn't able to enjoy E at that stage; I could only focus on caring for him and myself and getting through each hour. D had a similar experience her first time around (she has an older daughter who's 22 months), but this time she's enjoying it so much. Breastfeeding was smoother, the sleep deprivation didn't bother her as much, and this baby is wayyyyyyyyy easier than her oldest. I was impressed by how well she's doing. She even had all my maternity clothes ready to return. Jesus!

She also told me about her labor, which sounded intense to say the least. She went from 5 cm to pushing (only four pushes) in an hour, and she said she honestly thought she was going to die (and so did her husband). She said she'd have shot herself without hesitation if she'd had a gun. Seriously. And that if she'd been an animal a vet would've put her out of her misery. She didn't have time for an epidural; she couldn't even say the word. She said it was like a bad dream where you open your mouth to scream and nothing will come out. God! On the upside, she said she recovered super fast, like in a day, despite having torn, and felt completely normal and energized. And the baby was alert from the time they put her on D's chest--she immediately made eye contact and was in that quiet but alert state they talk about. This wasn't the case with her first, where she had an epidural (and where she'd pushed for 3.5 hours and ended with a vacuum). She's just not sure whether all the benefits she's noticed firsthand are worth that one hour of total hell. She said she realizes that sounds crazy, but that she can't explain how insane and horrible that hour was. I wonder if it would've been easier for her if she'd planned on a drug-free birth from the start. On the other hand, I remember our Bradley teacher telling us that people are always envious of fast labors, but they can be much, much more painful, and many people who've experienced them would trade them for a longer labor in a second.

I kind of doubt I'll ever experience a vaginal birth, but I'm fascinated by them (by all birth stories, really).

D also encouraged me to night wean. She told me about some friends she has whose two-year-old still wakes up in the middle of the night expecting to eat something, and they bring her actual food. I know he doesn't NEED to nurse in the middle of the night anymore, and that he's waking up out of habit, and that it'll be harder to break him of that the older he gets . . . it just makes me feel awful to think of withholding myself from him and not going to him at all. TJ will have to go instead. D advocates no one going in, period, but I don't think we can do that. Anyway, TJ and I talked about it and we figure we should do it soon. Over a weekend. It's not like we hadn't planned on it; we'd just been putting it off. We need to figure out the nighttime diaper situation as well. He often wakes up because he's wet, and then flips his shit when we have to change him. I've tried Pampers, Huggies, and the cheap-o HEB brand. I've heard the Costco brand works well, but I feel like we need some extra stuffing or something.

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