I had such an amazing moment last night, prefaced by a really bad one. I tried pumping breastmilk, and was barely able to eke out a watery 1 ounce. No wonder Katrina had been crying and rooting after nursing, and her diapers were nearly dry -- I'm starving my baby! I irrationally felt terrible. Of course I know that my baby isn't going to starve, but the most fundamental thing a nursing mother can do is feed her baby, and it seems I wasn't.
After my disheartening pump attempt, she woke up and I nursed her. Then soon after, she woke up crying and rooting again. So I gave her a bottle with the meager ounce that I'd pumped. And she sucked most of it down in about a minute! Poor hungry baby!
Then she looked at me. Really looked at me, first with crossed eyes, then a furrowed brow. Then she looked at me for about 15 minutes, actually smiling about 3 times. It was amazing. I know the smile was just the classic newborn reflex, she does it in her sleep too. But she wasn't asleep, she was looking right at me. She even tracked my face with her eyes if I moved back and forth. It was the first time she was alert and happy with me. If there's an actual moment when a mother falls in love with her new baby, this was it.
But is she getting enough from me? I was glad we had a pediatrician appointment today. And all is well! Dr. Zetis was wonderful and warm and reassuring. Katrina's put on 2 oz since her weight dip at the hospital (from 7 lbs 2oz at birth to 6 lbs 10 oz 24 hours later), up to 6 lbs 12 oz. Her color and demeanor are excellent. Dr. Zetis agreed that perhaps she should have had a breastfed-baby BM by now, but Katrina took care of that later in the day. So all looks well. Whew!
The simple joys are returning to my life. I'm still tender from surgery, but healing steadily and thrilled that I have some mobility back. I actually took a shower today - a real stand-up shower! I had some tea. I had some apple slices. I stepped over things without having to lift my knee up with my hand. Soon I'll be able to concentrate on the important things in life: baking, making Halloween costumes, going to the park; rather than my day being completely controlled by pain management. Hooray!
Katrina gets a LOT of comments about her beautiful hair. It is a lot of hair, long in the back, and very fluffy. Odds are it will all fall out and grow back differently, of course. Oh yeah, I get to live through that joy again -- postpartum "bangs." Yippee.
I love this photo because I caught her with the adorable crossed feet that fames her younger older brother. I didn't catch on camera the adorable "whistle face" of her older older brother, I'd forgotten about that! Newborns are so amazing.
Maybe because it was such a good day (starting with a good night, a great pediatrician's visit, a nice visit with Stacey, a very happy non-fussy baby, and Dave doing all the little-boy care), but it struck me today that I am so glad I have three children. Already I can't imagine it any other way. Check in with me on that the first time I'm alone with all three!