In some ways, the transition into motherhood has been much easier than I expected. I'm sure it makes a huge difference that my parents are here with us and taking care of all the meals and cleaning, though having extra people in the house has definitely added to my stress levels in other ways (and I've got a week more to go before all grandparents are gone and we get our house back to ourselves for a little while...sigh). Having a husband who is able to be super flexible with work and really share the burden has definitely made a huge difference.
I feel overwhelmingly blessed by how nicely breastfeeding is going. I really prayed that I wouldn't have major issues with it, as breastfeeding problems seem to have the capacity to bring down the most easy-going moms. By about our third feeding at the hospital, Brax and I had figured out our latch, and he's been terrific at keeping it up. On Tuesday, when we went for our first "Newborn Club" appointment at our hospital (basically a free consultation with a lactation consultant that everyone with Kaiser gets to go to), he had lost 10 oz, which our LC said was completely normal and attributed to the fact that my milk hadn't come in yet. She was so impressed by his latch, though, that she called one of the other nurses over to show him off! She told us my milk would probably come in that night, and sure enough, I got some pretty funny faces out of Brax when he was feeding that night and suddenly finding it way easier to get way more! We went back on Thursday and he had gained back up 5 oz, and he gained 1.8 oz just by feeding off one of my (currently gargantuan) boobs at the appointment.
My biggest challenge in the breastfeeding department is simply to keep him awake for a full feed each time. That oxytocin is powerful stuff. I've found he often falls asleep enough to quit sucking around 15 minutes into the feed. I sometimes have to work about 5-10 minutes to wake him up enough to latch on again. Then I usually get really sleepy around 25 minutes in. But after he gets back on, he seems like he could go forever. I often pull him off after about 40 minutes because I figure he's just sucking for fun at that point.
The other challenge is how monstrous my boobs are. And underwires are a no-no for breastfeeding moms.
Brax has also been fantastic at putting himself to sleep about 80% of the time. We've been working on establishing a Babywise/Baby Whisperer Feed/Wake/Sleep schedule, and he must be taking to it. He gives his daddy some trouble during the first night shift, but we have some different things we're going to try to work on that.
And I close with...what else? Pictures!