3 WEEKS - KILLIAN BRIAN ANDREW LAVIN

Killian Brian Andrew Lavin
Born September 8, 2015 at 2:34PM
7 lbs 7 oz, 20 inches long

WEIGHT LOSS/DIET/EXERCISE:
At my final weigh-in before giving birth I was up 27 lbs. No point in being coy after that last blog...I'll say it...I was 155 lbs. I've since lost 19 lbs...leaving me 8 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight of 128 lbs. I'm not actively trying to lose weight. Sure I'm eating healthy and breastfeeding more than I ever thought possible, but I simply can't worry about exercise until I can, you know....stand upright. #MomBod

ME AND MY BODY:
I use to suck in my gut or worry about a little muffin top... but now? I just let it all hang out. I earned this belly. I created life with this belly. This is not beer and doughnuts...so the squishy belly can chill for a few months for all I care. Right now its just about survival. 

Here I am on week 2. #nofilter #mombod

Showing full boob to friends, family, neighbors, strangers as I nurse? I could care less.  Look, my boobs are no longer my own, but merely faucets for food. There's nothing sexual about them and if you're offended? walk away, b/c the girls are here to stay. My nips are 4 times larger and darker than they were before, so there really is no hiding them even if I wanted to. 

I did end up doing the placenta encapsulation. Placebo or not, I haven't had baby blues, my milk came in on day 3 and my hormones have been relatively balanced. 

POSTPARTUM:
Within a couple hours of giving birth, two nurses escorted me to the bathroom to relieve my bladder. (Guess they hadn't heard about the 2 ft tube that emptied my bladder only moments before.) I waddled to the shoilet with their help, feeling like all my organs were going to burst from my stitches and fall on the floor, but by some kind of sorcery, they did not. They eased me down slowly and dressed my ankles with a high-waisted mesh whitey-tighty-esque underwear. (You should know I stole 20 pairs from the hospital and make no apologies. They were far from visually appealing, but they were comfortable, disposable and fit around my swollen vaganus without chaffing. You can see a photo of me modeling them in 1 week PP.) So I finished peeing... and without warning, the nurse starts squirting my vagina with warm water from a water bottle. I was startled for sure, but the overwhelming comfort it gave me...put me in a hypnotic trance. I just sat there, with some nurse I had never met...in silence as she squirted warm water all over my vagina. Not sure the exact moment I lost my dignity, but what was happening was magical and I did not stop her... my water water bottle angel. 

That's the story of my first pee.  My first poo? Oh man ::shivers:: they just don't tell you.  They don't tell you anything!! It had been 6 days since giving birth, and 6 days since I pooped. The pressure was building up and giving me severe stomach cramps. I knew what needed to be done ...and I was afraid. The scene was set: me, trusty ole' warm water bottle, laundry basket stuffed with pillows and a box of tissues for my tears. I sat down, said a prayer and hunched over onto the pillows.  I was there for the better part of 2 hours.  I won't lie, I attempted to use hypnobreathing and "breath the poop out". Sadly, with every slight push, Hemmy would pop out and say a not so pleasant hello blocking any kind of progress....Hemmy...and all his new friends he made during labor. For 2 hours I sat there crying, shivering and cursing the stool softener that had failed to do its one job. Would I never poop again? Would they have to surgically remove it? That's when I enlisted the help of the internet... 

Google said, if you apply counter pressure with a frozen pad to the stitch site, you'll be fine. Google was fucking wrong. I yelled for Anthony to grab me one of the aloe vera/witch hazel padsicles he'd made me weeks prior from the freezer. He handed it over, gave me some privacy and with one gentle push...OMFG!!!! Something very bad had just happened. I quickly grabbed a mirror. (There are some things you really can't unsee by the way.) It was then I saw. I saw it all. I didn't know until then that I had been cut all the way. I didn't know there were 10 rows of stitches bridging my vagina to my anus...oh wait...9 rows. Yep 9 rows...b/c my gentle push? Popped an entire row! Sigh. I'll save you the dramatics, but cut to...me bent over, touching my toes, legs spread, while Anthony snaps an unspeakable photo with my iPhone to send to my doctor. I'm not sure who was more traumatized...me? Anthony? our marriage? my OB who had to look at that monstrosity on a Sunday? FYI...they don't restitch due to risk of infection so...yay me. That photo though...dear lord...I did not poo that day... and I was scared to ever poop again.

BREASTFEEDING:
During my stay at the hospital, an amazing lactation consultant, I think her name was Marina, taught me the most useful thing I could ever do with my body, feed my child. She worked with me and Killian, getting him to latch and teaching me how to hold my boobs and support my back. Within minutes of walking into the room, she grabbed my boob, squeezed my nipple and shoved it in his mouth. She was a boob wizard. This hispanic elderly godsend who called me mami and Killian, papi...is someone I'll never forget.

Week 1 - I was up at least every 2 hours all day, every day. Breastfeeding can best be described as... draining your life force. It's the most physically exhausting thing I've ever done. It will make you so thirsty you'll think you've walked the desert for weeks. (Pro tip: Always have water nearby so you don't start looking at the dog's water bowl, that's most definitely within reach, as a very viable option.) Also, no matter how awesome his latch...that shit hurts. That initial latch and first few seconds? It's just not right...and it also gives you mini contractions that will serve as a not so awesome reminder of labor.  ::shivers::

Week 2 - Up every 3 hours, I'd become a pro, a sleep deprived milk machine pro. Killian had also become a pro. He once latched mid-air as I was moving him down to position. I was both startled and impressed. He developed a sixth sense for boob. I could walk by him and he'd start baby birding with this mouth open, flailing around as if my tits were the new Xbox that had just come out. Sometimes it made me feel like a celebrity, sometimes it was scary. As he gets closer to my nipple he turns into this ravenous animal and makes grunting noises like a pig. Then he sucks like he's devouring my boob. The cheeky little shit even exhales in what has to be the most dramatic unlatches of all time. He rolls back, milk all over his face, looking wasted and I'm sat there thinking...is this normal?

Week 3 - I did the best I could, but 2 days ago I tapped out and asked Anthony to take over one of the night shifts and give him my pumped milk. All the experts and books could go fuck themselves, nipple confusion be damned...giving my son one bottle a day had to be better than having a mom that had become a shell of a human. And guess what? The world didn't end, he took the bottle like a champ, my nipples got sweet relief and I slept through my first REM cycle since giving birth. Praise Jesus. Praise the nipple gods. Did I leak all over my bed while I slept? oh big time. Do I have to put a towel down at night? for sure. All I know is...don't be a hero. I was so sleep deprived, I barely remember those first 2 weeks.  And now? Things are so much better.

POOP:
Late one night, I had just finished nursing and was doing what every mom inevitably does...you hold your kid and stare at them in the creepiest way possible. There I was thinking...he is so unbelievably cute, I can't believe I'm a mom, when WOOOSH!!! Without warning he unleashed the loudest, most unapologetic and ferocious liquid poo ever. It startled me so much that I farted, which then startled him and made him poop again...all over my hand. At this point the commotion had woke the dogs, who were barking at my fart  and as I lifted him up he spit up all down my cleavage ..and I just sat there thinking...this is my life now, this is my life. From 47 wipes trying to get the sticky black tar poop off his balls, to the now 3 wipes as I chase the yellow ricotta cheese poo around his bum...my life ...poop.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK:
When the stool softener did it's job. Nuff said #blessed

LOW POINT OF THE WEEK:
Toss up...either the popping of the stitches or Day 6 ::shivers:: Day 6...at something o'clock in the morning, when I had to pick the scabs out of my cracked/bleeding nipple to feed him. I now put lanolin on my nips after every feed.  I honestly will never go anywhere, ever again, for the rest of time...without lanolin. 

THINGS I DID NOT KNOW, BUT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY KNOW:
After you give birth, every hour a nurse will come by and push down on your uterus to squeeze out possible blood clots.  It will hurt super bad. You will have to resist every urge to punch her in the face.

If you have a boy, he will get boobs.  Anthony was very concerned, but my pediatrician said it's normal.  I guess it's from all the hormones coming through the milk. Doc said, "Just don't stimulate them and they'll go away." I was like...umm thanks I wasn't planning on it lol

Your baby will fart like a grown man. And you will laugh...every time.

ANTHONY:
He changed every single diaper the first 2 weeks.  Every single one. Granted I couldn't stand or bend over, but...credit where credit is due.

Anthony's biggest hurdle? Oh man...hahahaha He keeps having this reoccurring nightmare that Killian is in the bed and he can't find him and he can't breath. This means I have the luxury of every single night...9 times out of 10, while nursing, of seeing Anthony frantically sit up and search the bed for the kid that's latched on my nipple.  Well in his sleepiness he inevitably finds Willow, picks her up, cradles her and shush's her saying "it's ok, it's ok".  The look on Willow's face every time... is priceless.

The best time this happened though, was 3 days ago when he picked up Shelby upside down, cradled her and with the most concerned face of all time he looked at me and said "Why does he have a tail coming out of his head?" It took everything in me not to laugh as I quietly said, "that's Shelby babe. Killian is nursing."  He said "oh ok" and went back to sleep.  I sat there in the dark silently laughing so hard tears rolled down my face.  Is it horrible of me to hope this keeps happening? lol

DOGS:
The dogs have been great. They sniff his head a lot and seem genuinely concerned when he cries, but otherwise normal.  Marty and Willow have gotten overly protective over him though...as in Willow growled at my dad when he first came in the house and Marty tried to bite a friend of mine who he loves when she tried to pick up Killian...so we're keeping an eye on that.  The only other thing of note was the first week Shelby went into his nursery and took a giant shit. So I guess you could say she made her feeling heard.  I can't help but feel bad for my little guys.  I know they feel neglected. :(

END OF THE WEEK THOUGHTS:
Being a mom is hard.  Everything is new and scary.  I never know if I'm making the right decision. I know I'm not doing enough tummy time and I should definitely stop letting him fall asleep on me, but what the fuck ever...I'm doing the best I can. All I know for certain is that, these first few weeks would have been impossible if my mom hadn't come. She has taken care of Anthony and I, so we could take care of Killian.  She's cooked and cleaned and did laundry and fed the dogs and went grocery shopping and taken me to doctor appointments. She's given me advice, encouraged me to take walks, drawn me a sitz bath and not made me feel like a complete loser as she watched me wear the same outfit for 3 days and never leave my bedroom. She basically took over every single responsibility I've been incapable of fulfilling. It does take a village...or at least 1 Irene Quintrall. I can only hope that I become the mom she is.