Week 124 motherhood – 6 weeks postpartum, 3/5 sick, refusals and acting out

Toddler on a swing

Swinging away

Week 124 of motherhood: 

  • Jan. 30:  Three out of the five of us are now sick.  The 2 yo continues to be sick from last week with a runny nose that keeps drooping down her nose and she refuses for us to wipe for her so it’s always wet and glistening..  I started getting a stuffy nose and sneezing as well.  Le sigh.  The newborn had some green mucus booger in her nose that she sneezed out luckily and had one sighting of runny nose.  Thankfully that’s the extent of that.  Grandma says she’s starting to feel some cold effects too.
  • Had my 6-week postpartum appointment today via phone call unfortunately because my OB caught COVID.  I was actually really looking forward to getting out of the house for a physical in-person appointment (to be in that neighbourhood of the city especially to see if I could nab some new TGTG Surprise Bags [lol – obsessed]), to see and talk to the OB in person, (to compare the pp visit from this time to the first one), to get a copy of the final ultrasound report that was not available last time, to see the nice receptionist again, get my weigh-in officially, do the physical checks like blood pressure, pee, etc, and even a vaginal check (even though he didn’t do one last time).
  • He phoned me a few minutes after the scheduled call time and it lasted only about 3 minutes — on the one hand, phone appointments save SO much time and gas.
  • He asked me how I was feeling and that it’s 6 weeks postpartum already, time is going so fast — I agreed. I thought he was going to ask me about the basic info like last time like baby’s weight at birth, what kind of delivery it was, sex of the baby, etc, but I guess he already has that info from the hospital, so I answered his question directly with how I was feeling which was that my pelvic pain was the biggest issue.  Told him I had trouble lying sideways and sleeping in bed.  He asked whether the pain was in the middle and I said yes.  He said that it’s due to carrying the baby during pregnancy and delivery that my pelvic bones separated and that it’s common and it takes 3 to 4 months to heal.  Oh, dear.  He said I could buy a belly band to help me heal faster.  He asked if I was breastfeeding and I said yes and that it’s going well.  He asked me if I wanted more kids and if so to see me then when it’s the third baby.  He said take care and congratulations again and that was it.  He is always so warm and tender on the phone, it’s really comforting to speak to him.  But the visits are always so short and brief.
  • (I guess I wouldn’t have been able to make the physical visit anyway since I had cold symptoms.. stuffy nose and a nasally voice.)
  • I can’t believe it’ll take me that long to heal my pelvis… (I looked online later and read that it could take up to 8 months to heal even… it’s called postpartum pubic symphysis diastasis (PPSD).  It’s painful and uncomfortable but not harmful.)
  • The last two nights, I’ve been sleeping on the bed a few times a night.  I can sleep on my back flat and when I get up, there’s not much pain from my pelvis.  But when I lie sideways on my right side (my preferred side of sleeping) and I get back up, that’s when the pain sets in 😦 I need DH to hold my hands to assist me up.
  • Last night when the baby cried for milk, DH was not beside me since he was up taking care of the 2yo.  It was so difficult for me to slowly shift and move down the bed in order to get up by myself.  Sigh.  I did it eventually, but it took a lot of slow movements and time.  The baby was crying for milk but good thing she was patient for the most part and calmed down and then I was able to get to the rocking chair to nurse her.
  • The other night, the baby slept for 5 hours straight (on me).  Five hours is an amazing stretch of sleep for a newborn, but I wish she could sleep alone and I could have had that sleep myself in the bed.
  • Last night, we were able to watch and finish watching the Glass Onion movie in the living room.  I realized that the baby wouldn’t sleep well in the family room because of the bright pot lights so we watched in the dimmer living room instead.  After the feed around 9pm, she wanted to “move down” like she would on the rocking chair to my crotch too, which was so interesting.  But I could sit with her snugly on the massage chair and she slept eventually.
  • I briefly felt like my supply was tanking the previous two days, but I remedied it by eating more and using a haakaa again on the non-nursing breast.  I had stopped using it for a few feeds because I was hoping to stop the leaking from the other side in preparation for eventual public feeds where perhaps I could “train” the other side not to leak anymore, but I also figured the haakaa helps move milk out of the nursing side too.  I think the baby fed better with the haakaa on as well.
  • The toddler has been acting out really intensely this week 😦 :(.  I have less attention to give her and she feels it. The care and attention that I give her is different from the type that DH and grandma give.. but it’s hard for me to mind the baby, feed myself often enough to produce milk, and also play with the 2 yo in the same way I did before.  Grandma’s style of play and discipline can be very guilt-inducing and victim-shaming.. as in the toddler will have a runny nose and to make her wipe her nose, she will say something like “if you don’t wipe your nose, the squirrel outside will not like it and not play with you”.  It’s negative talk and puts blame on the child for no reason.  My way of encouragement would be “you need to have your nose wiped because you are sick.  We need to wipe it to keep you clean.” It’s just simple straight facts. No need to make her feel bad for it.
  • I also notice they’ve been giving her too many choices and because the toddler mind is so immature, she often doesn’t know or understand sequencing.  She doesn’t understand that doing A first will result in B.  She also isn’t given consequences for acting out or misbehaving.
  • When DH reads to her, he sometimes leaves out the last word in the sentence for her to fill in.  It’s cute and fun for her to do once in a while (shows off her amazing memory), but if she’s being “tested” every time during story time, she acts out by saying something silly to get a reaction and then it becomes another chance for misbehaviour.  I asked DH to plainly read to her for enjoyment and she seemed to like that better.
  • Sometimes grandma gets unnecessarily offended when the 2yo says something to her.  She doesn’t grasp that the toddler doesn’t understand her own words sometimes and actually doesn’t mean what she says.  And when you take everything the 2yo says at face value, it’s not surprising that you would feel offended or frustrated.
  • Feb 1:  The 2 yo wouldn’t get out of the bath tub despite DH and grandma’s attempts.  She was getting cold in the tub.  She continued to refuse and act out.  Usually I hold the baby but I knew I had to step in.  I went to scoop water out of the tub if she wasn’t going to come out because I didn’t want her getting cold.  (Also told her that if she wasn’t going to come out of the tub that the water would be lol.)  At least the water was gone and we could towel her off but by then she was okay to come out.  Le sigh.
  • Before she exited the tub though, she was still sporadically crying so I asked her what was wrong and what was making her upset.  I told her that I needed to feed her younger sister and that that’s why I couldn’t be with her all the time.  I tried to validate her feelings and make her feel loved.  I think it helped a lot.
  • We gave the baby a bath yesterday.  The baths for this baby are few and far in between.. just no time sometimes.  I missed being at the side for the previous bath last week and DH told me how chubby this little girl is.  So many rolls.  I couldn’t miss this chance and had to see it for myself.
  • She is so cute and round-headed and definitely has rolls all over and even a beer belly!  So chubby.
  • My friend commented she has neck rolls too from a picture that I sent her, which is true.
  • She enjoyed the bath for the most part and didn’t cry the whole time.  She looked at DH intently during the wash up.
  • We weighed her this morning (using the subtraction method) and she’s 10lbs according to grandma and 10.2 lbs according to me.  Holy smokes.  I can’t believe she is 10 lbs already at 1 month and 2 weeks old.  Incredible.
  • I love how efficient the milk transfer has been so far.  No clogs or painful breastfeeding issues so far.  Nursing is definitely superior to pumping in this aspect.
  • We tried bed sharing the past three nights.  I’m not proud of it, but it has been helpful to allow me some sleep in the bed (to rest my horribly hunched neck and straighten my pelvis) and we’re trying our best to be careful.  The baby is on my right side whereas DH is on my left.  We had a pillow between the baby and the edge of the bed.  The next night, we used the pregnancy pillow as a barrier which worked too.  The baby definitely likes smelling me and having me next to her for comfort.  If she was alone in the bassinet, she would wake up and cry until someone holds her.
  • The toddler has been very needy this week with constant talking and echoing absent-minded comments and a constant need for reassurance and attention.
  • As an introvert who needs her own recharge time, I’ve actually needed “less” of it since becoming a mom two years ago.  But now with a little one who is constantly at my side and then a toddler who never stops talking and continually seeking attention, my patience really has worn thin this week and my battery is low and difficult to recharge.
  • Because of this, when the baby is at my side and the toddler talks to me, I sometimes respond absent-mindedly.  I’m not all there and this doesn’t fulfill the toddler’s attention so she continues to seek more attention, but I’m just tired and space out already. It’s a vicious cycle and what I’m struggling the most with this week.
  • The 2 yo is whiny too and constantly changes her mind on things.
  • Whenever she sees us eating something, she wants it too.  But then she doesn’t actually eat it once we prepare it for her. It’s maddening and contributes to the frustration these days.
  • The 2 yo has been asking me where my bee patterned pajamas and my rabbit pattern pajamas are.  I have to repeatedly answer that they’re either in the wash or in the laundry room being hung to dry or upstairs in the bedroom.  She asks me this multiple times a day and wants to hear the same answer.
  • I really hope this phase will end soon or taper off or she learns that we’re there for her but just that our hands are tied now with a new member in the house.
  • A family member and a friend distinctly assumed that the older one would be jealous upon the arrival of the baby.  Nope, it didn’t happen once we brought the baby home from the hospital but it is happening now a month and a half into it.  Did not like the negative yet realistic assumption.  It’s not a matter of real “jealousy” but that the older one needs to learn that her guardians have to look after another sibling now and the attention will be divided.  She had been spoiled all along with my very undivided attention up to the baby’s birth.  She has to now learn to live with it.  It’s not like we treat the baby better than her if that’s what people mean by “jealousy”.
  • I can barely turn my head these days because my neck is so stiff.
  • The baby cries “nai” for “milk” when she’s hungry.  It’s very distinct.  She can basically communicate.  It’s so interesting.
  • Postpartum hair loss: haven’t seen it at all yet and even though I blogged about postpartum hair loss last time in my posts, they frankly weren’t so extreme to the point that clumps were falling out like other pp moms report.  I continue to take my Materna prenatal vitamins daily (never stopped since we knew we would be conceiving in fall of 2019).  Maybe it helps and that’s why I haven’t lost any hair yet? (Or maybe I’m jinxing myself and I’ll see the hair loss after this post is published lol.)
  • Lochia has slowed and nearly stopped but I’m still wearing a pad for the accumulated spotting.
  • DH had been bringing the 2yo out for errands and grocery store shopping.  But since she was sick with a runny nose, we kept her at home.  She actually refused to go out the other day.  She was throwing a huge tantrum about not wanting to ride in the car but wanting the stroller instead.  Eventually, grandma had to accompany them out so that she could be consoled.  This is like what happened the week when I had covid.  She refused everything and threw huge tantrums.  Sigh.  It’s the lack of focused attention which is the problem.  It’s very obvious due to her shift in behaviour.
  • Grandma is now sick with a cold as well.
  • On the other hand, my cold didn’t progress into one with a sore throat.  Ninety percent of the time, my colds start with a runny nose and progress into a sore throat too.  I’m okay this time 🙂
  • The 2yo continues to love drinking my excess breastmilk.  It’s so good that we buy less cow’s mill now.
  • She still continues to have the black stains on her teeth.  The top and bottom have it now too.  We had been progressing to a mixture of less milk and more water in her nighttime bottles but I guess we forgot about it and kept it at the same amount of milk and water.  So now it’s cold turkey time.  No more milky water at night after her teeth has been brushed.  We really need to tackle this teeth issue.
  • She continues to refuse to let us brush her teeth.  Nothing really works or helps.
  • She has too many books in her bookshelf now.  I never ever had this many board books at the age of 2.  She’s so lucky and spoiled. Friends and family gift her with books too.  It shouldn’t be a problem but the quantity of books is starting to clutter up the play space and making it messy.
  • She doesn’t let us wash her hands or wipe her hands after coming home.  She cries when we do let her do something.  She prefers one adult to do something and then cries when that adult does the thing she asked for.  Oh, so many inconsistencies and challenges.  Oh, toddlerhood is such a ride.
  • The baby continues to sleep so easily but has slightly longer wake periods now finally.  She must sleep for like 20 hours a day?!
  • We haven’t been consistent in giving her tummy time.  We try, but it’s a real effort at times with how much is going on at home.
  • She burps like a real man lol.  She 80% of the time burps by herself when being held and if so, it’s a loud quack kind of satisfying burp.  It’s so great.
  • When sitting in the bouncer or lying flat on the floor, she tends to spit up small amounts of milk.  No clue why this happens.
  • When put flat on the floor, she ends up veering off to the side in a clockwise motion.
  • Many times since becoming a mom, I don’t breathe in fully anymore.  I need to remind myself often to practise and to take more deep full breaths and by doing so it alleviates stress (like I used to in yoga).

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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