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At today’s appointment, Baby Evan weight 8 lbs 2 oz. At his lowest, he was 7 lbs even – which means he’s gained 18 oz in one week. My dream to be on Maury as mother of the world’s largest baby is totally going to come true!


You can be totally pro-breastfeeding and supportive of a woman’s right to do it anywhere she wants and say things like “What’s the big deal, they’re just breasts”…but until you start walking around with your nipples out in front of your mother you can’t understand what “they’re just breasts!!” really means.

Thanks for the advice y’all, my nipples are doing much better. Stop by and I’ll show you.


All the advice I’ve read says they’re going to toughen up (Which sounds…lovely. Leather nipples) and the pain will go away but right now I’m considering just cutting them off. And I don’t want to hear any advice like “oh you just need to work on your latch”. Do you know how many times I’ve worked on my latch in the last week? A zillion. I counted. My nipple shield helps because it keeps Baby Evan from chewing the end off. My nipple shield does NOT help because then he swallows a ton of air and throws up everything he just ate. So then he wants to eat more. And my nipples cry.

Luckily, I found these cooling gel pads suggested online and picked some up at Babies R Us. I highly recommend them. And by “highly recommend” I mean I will cut you if you try to take them away from me.

Happy Easter from Suzanne, E and Baby Evan, who was so excited about his first holiday he fell asleep immediately after we dressed him up in his ducky jacket.

Today Baby Evan is 1 week old. I almost can’t believe I managed to keep a baby alive for a whole week! Here’s a wrap up of how we’re doing and what we’ve learned so far.

– I feel fine. The only time I even notice I’ve recently given birth is when I cough or sneeze. So far I’ve also avoided peeing my pants. Yah Kegals.
– Baby Evan is getting FAT. Newborns come with a layer of something called “brown fat” that helps them survive the first few days outside the nice, comfy uteruses they’ve been hanging out in for the last 9 months. A weight loss after birth of 5-10% is normal for all babies but is incredibly terrifying if you know your baby isn’t eating. I was worried that my UsWeekly had somehow given my unborn child an eating disorder in utero. It turns out I didn’t need to be worried because since he’s started breastfeeding he’s gained back at least 10 oz. That’s well on the way to chubby baby thighs.
– My lactation consultant actually owns that ridiculously expensive baby boutique I made fun of a few months ago – the one I swore I’d never buy anything from. But they’re so NICE there it’s hard to stay away. I went back on Friday and talked to their baby-wearing expert. No, really. She teaches a baby-wearing class. She taught us (E’s almost as excited about it as I am) how to use the Maya Ring Sling and Mom bought it for me as a birthday present. I won’t write a glowing recommendation yet, but I have a feeling one is coming.
– Baby Evan has only been in his nursery for about 30 minutes total since we brought him home. He just doesn’t appreciate how much effort I put into it yet. I’ll give him another week before I start feeling insulted.
– Thank God for the help I have here at home. Without Mom doing the (enormous amounts of) laundry, cleaning and cooking I wouldn’t have had time to use the bathroom, let alone update this blog. If E wasn’t such a huge huge help with diapers and changing and cuddling Baby Evan I’d be a sobbing, milk and pee covered wreck instead of someone with freshly shaved legs. I almost feel guilty for letting them help so much, but since they’ll both be gone by the first week of May I figure I should take advantage while I can.
– Jaundice sucks. For something that’s fairly common and usually not very serious it sure has disrupted our first few days home.
– Since I have a baby now, I’ll try to keep this next part PG. I cannot believe how many butthole flippin morons I’ve had to deal with regarding Baby Evan’s medical care. Those pee-pee heads at the on-base clinic are lazy and careless and if they all fell off a cliff the world would be a better place. Fortunately, we have the option to use REAL pediatricians off-base – it just won’t be entirely free. But the peace of mind knowing my baby is being care for by people who can TELL TIME is well worth a few co-pays.

Things I bought:
1. Nipple shields
2. Hot/cold packs for breast engorgement
3. Lansinoh lanolin cream
4. Bouncy/vibrating seat
5. Maya Sling
6. NEWBORN sized diapers (The size 1 says they’re good from 8-11 lbs but at 7 lbs Evan is swimming in them)
7. Extra burp cloths
8. Extra hamper for downstairs

Things I didn’t need:
1. Baby shampoo/powder/lotion/oil
2. 90% of my adorably baby clothes
3. Co-sleeper
4. Crib & fancy bedding
5. Mobile/toys/stuffed animals
6. Pack’n’play

You asked, I answer.

I am almost totally healed from the whole birthing process. Well, I think I am – I’m afraid I still can’t see over my massive boobs to check. But considering how terrified I was of OMG TEARING AND STITCHES, I am pleasantly surprised at how non-traumatic it turned out to be. I’m back to walking instead of waddling and that horrible kicked-in-the-crotch pain is gone. Seeing as how I haven’t had a period in 9 months the amount of bleeding I have is pretty minimal. I’d hardly even know I had given birth if it weren’t for this baby who keeps hanging around all the time.

My (whatwasIthinkingwhenIgetpregnantthisisgoingtolookawfulandtotallyunidentifiable) side tattoo has emerged completely unscathed. The stretch marks on my hips and love handles never lengthened enough to reach it and the position on my ribs was far enough back that the skin didn’t stretch. So I still have a cute hummingbird instead of a toucan.

Although my current level of interest in getting my “pre-baby body” back ranges somewhere between my interest in seeing the Hannah Montana movie on opening night and having my toenails removed with rusty pliers, it’s hard not think about how long it’s going to take to fit into anything but maternity clothes. To make myself feel a little better, I put my belly button ring back in today. Not that anyone – including E – is going to see it any time soon, but it’s a relief that a) it didn’t close so I have a scar but no hole and b) my belly button has retracted enough that I don’t have a third nipple at waist level.

I wrote this back on March 20th – before I was SO OVER pregnancy – but thought I would come up with more things once I actually wasn’t pregnant anymore. Turns out, not so much.

Despite all my belly-aching, being pregnant for the first time is amazing. There are a lot of things I will miss about it.

For the first time in my entire life, I have totally, effortlessly, clear skin. No drug, facewash, scrub or cream has EVER done as much for my face as pregnancy hormones. I haven’t worn real makeup in eight months. I can only pray this is a permanent change – I get to keep my stretchmarks, can I keep my new face too?

Feeling the baby move. Words cannot express how special (and weird) it is.

Everyone’s sudden concern for my health and well-being. “How are you?” isn’t just a polite question when you’re pregnant – people actually want to know.

Getting to say “cervix” on a regular basis. It’s a really fun word.

Sleeping. Naps. Resting. Lying down.

Eating pretty much anything I want without feeling a bit of guilt. I know “good” pregnant women spend the whole 9 months eating organic, all-natural, vegan beansprout and whole wheat sandwiches – thank God I am not one of them. I’m not looking forward to giving up french fries in the name of pants without elastic waists.

Turns out all of those seem totally worth giving up once you have an actual baby. I only have two things to add:

Nurses who let me close my eyes when they weigh me, because although your weight is a constant source of worry and discussion, pregnant-fat is indulged in a way fat-fat isn’t. I doubt they let me get away with using the kilo scale (everything sounds better in metric) at my 6 week check-up.

An excuse to never drive, not because I hate driving but because the baby has to sit in the rear seat, facing backwards. This is stupid. Blah blah blah safety blah blah airbags blah blah. Don’t you know this means you CAN’T SEE THE BABY from the front? Right now E is acting as chauffeur, but he has to go back to work eventually and I’m going to be totally screwed.

I don’t know why I thought this would be easy. With eight zillion resources online and books and support groups and lactation consultants, plus about two years of blog reading where breastfeeding was discussed at least once a week, I thought I was totally aware of how things worked. I took a class. They gave me a CERTIFICATE.  Unfortunately, my baby obviously wasn’t paying attention, since he absolutely refuses to latch on. He either falls asleep with my nipple sort of drunkenly hanging out or he gets supersupersuper excited and thrashes his head around like a crazy person making squeaky noises until he gets milk all over his face – but none in his mouth.

Since Baby Evan needed to eat immediately after birth because of his body temp and low blood sugar, I did the one thing I swore I wouldn’t do and allowed the nurses to give him formula. It felt like I had failed my child only ten minutes after bringing him into the world. From that point on it only got worse. My lactation consultant Andrea – the one I luuuuuved from class and was so looking forward to working with – no longer works in the birthing center. She went and got a new job just a few days ago. I feel personally abandoned. The first night after the birth the baby stayed in the nursery for observation and when the nurse would bring him in to feed she just dropped him off and left. I had no one to help, no one to tell me what I was doing wrong, no one to explain how to FIX IT. I may be a first time mom but one thing I definitely know is babies need to eat. It’s pretty much their only job in life – and my only job is providing Baby with food – so when it’s not working on either end we are both miserable.

By Wednesday morning – Baby Evan’s 3rd day of life – I couldn’t stop crying. Every time I thought about breastfeeding, or held the baby, or tried to get him to latch with absolutely no success I had a little breakdown. It didn’t help that despite my failure my milk came in and my boobs are literally like two big cantalopes stapled to my chest – rock hard and so swollen I can’t put my arms by my sides. My baby book says you should establish a breastfeeding routine before you start to pump. The nurse at the hospital said I should pump a little first so the baby could get a better latch. I thought pumping was for women who had to work, not moms who’s ONLY to-do item is Breastfeed on Demand. I also had no idea how my little hand pump worked since I hadn’t planned to use it.

We needed to get things set up with the Navy health care pediatrician yesterday, since the on-call ped wanted me to have his billi levels checked (a fancy way of saying he looks kind of yellow) within 24 hours. I won’t give you the whole horror story about how totally incompetent practically everyone we dealt with was, but lets just say the baby no longer has virgin ears. His first words may be “useless douchebags”. The whole process took three times as long as we thought and we didn’t bring any formula to supplement my attempted feedings. I actually had to leave the waiting room and go cry in the car while E almost got himself in a huge amount of trouble by yelling at an officer who kept telling him the baby couldn’t see the doctor until all the systems updated. Most of the time I love my socialist health care. This was not one of those times. When we finally got to see the Navy doctor I scared her by being such a wreck. Since the cure for jaundice is poop, getting the baby to eat was now everyone’s top priority. Super. Now someone PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO DO THIS.

Luckily, someone did. The pediatrician gave me the number for a lactation consultant who we called before even leaving the parking lot. In a 5 minute phone conversation I went from panicked to FINE. She said of course I should pump if the baby won’t latch. She also told me to put some hot compresses on my enormous swollen boobs ASAP – which is the best advice about anything I have ever gotten ever – and we made an appointment to see her today at noon. I managed to pump enough to feed Baby Evan all night. E and I took turns sleeping – 5 hours each, and he actually let me have 6 – so this morning I felt great. We went back to the doctor (A+ for baby improvement!) and everyone was much much less scared of the hysterical woman clutching the diaper bag and sobbing.

At noon we met with our amazing, fantastic, reassuring, incredibly knowledgeable lactation consultant Carol. (BTW, if you ever thought teaching women how to breastfeed sounded like the ideal job, you might want to look into it. Although we got a military discount and some insurance companies help to cover it, the cost for a consultation is $100/hour. And you get to look at boobs all day!) Carol taught me about magical nipple shields. It turns out that my body is SO EXCITED to make milk my boobs have swollen and my nipples have practically disappeared. The baby can’t latch on to flat nipples. But if I correct them with this soft little plastic nipple-shaped cover, he is AWESOME at feeding. He actually eats so much so fast I have to pull him off and make him slow down. A nipple shield saved my life. THREE DAYS of panic and crying and worrying my baby would die was cured by a $4.99 piece of silicone.

After our meeting with Carol, a visiting nurse provided by the Navy and Marine Relief Society came over to check on me. She brought lots of great information, not just about breastfeeding but about our options for choosing a pediatrician and getting the baby covered by our health care. She’s going to keep calling and coming to check on me at least once a week, which is really reassuring, since after our final jaundice check-up tomorrow Baby Evan won’t go to the doctor for another 2 weeks. Basically, I am no longer worried about anything baby related. It’s going to take a while for me to really get the hang of breastfeeding but the fact that things have improved 1000000000% in the last 24 hours is a good sign. Next week I’ll probably be feeding while walking around. We’ll hold off on feeding while juggling chainsaws until at least month 2. And after I learn to juggle.

For your NOM NOM NOMMING pleasure.

Coming home from the hospital:
img_1908No Brutus, that’s not for you. And he is definitely not a chew toy so stop with the sniffing.
img_1912Do I need to explain why we’ve started calling him Peanut? And yes, Daddy’s playing WoW while holding the baby. As long as he keeps changing the diapers he can play all dorky computer games he wants.
img_1917This is how Baby Evan looks after he eats. I dare you not to chew on your computer screen. Double Dog Dare you.
img_1923And if you notice in the background, that is totally our changing table in the family room. We spend 90% of our baby time down here anyways, and leaning over to change him on the pack’n’play was killing my E’s back. We’ll bring it back upstairs eventually. “Eventually” probably meaning after he’s toilet trained.

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April 2019
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