Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hints of Normalcy


Last Thursday, I tried to introduce some normalcy back into my day. By "normalcy," I mean doing more than lying around in my bed topless all day long. In these early days of breastfeeding, I find it tremendously difficult to muster the motivation needed to put on a bra and shirt.

Anyway, we started the day like we normally do with our herbal bath (one of the exceptions to my "pretty much just stay in bed" pattern). After the bath, I take a shower while Matt watches Henry. However, on the day I was most striving for normalcy, I started to feel really faint. I had to get out of the shower and lie down (this time, soaking wet). I'm pretty sure this brief spell was brought on by low blood sugar (I hadn't eaten in 14 hours because I have been trying to get a lot of sleep). I quickly put some food into my system and felt a lot better.

But then the stomach cramping and diarrhea started. Argh!

Needless to say, Thursday did not turn out to be the day that any sense of normalcy returned to my life.

I followed my midwife's advice and ate brown rice with honey for dinner. The next day, my stomach cramping and diarrhea had stopped, and I was once again determined to inject a little bit of normal into my routine. First thing that morning, I breastfed Henry in his room on the couch (sitting up!) and even studied Spanish while I was doing it.

On Saturday, I ventured out of the house for an "express" pedicure down the street, while Matt watched a sleeping Henry and then took him for a walk. Ironically, pedicures are not part of my normal routine at all, but I was really craving a little pampering. I was back in time for Henry's next feeding.

And then last night, while I was walking Henry around in our Ergo carrier, trying to help him realize that he didn't actually need any more food, I decided to pull out the list I made a while back of all the things to do while on maternity leave. The list isn't meant to overwhelm me with tasks and action items. Instead, it's meant to give me a sense of rhythm and help me remember my priorities.

I transferred the list to the whiteboard on our bathroom door. Every time I do something on the list, I simply put a check next to it. At the end of the day, I can leave all the list items there but erase the check marks so the list is ready for the next day.

Here's the current list:

  • Stay in bed until I have slept 8 hours (I got this idea out of a book; basically, I wake up and feed the baby all night long and into the morning, but I don't actually get up and out of bed in the morning until I have slept a total of 8 hours, no matter how long that takes!)
  • Shower
  • Practice Spanish while breastfeeding (using these CDs)
  • Write one blog post while Henry naps
  • Spend time out in nature with Henry
  • Give Henry tummy time and lie-on-your-back-and-stare-at-mobiles time
  • Read Henry a story
  • Read my own books while breastfeeding
  • Do laundry, tidy up the house, and talk on the phone while wearing the baby
  • Nap (during one of Henry's naps)
  • Spend quality time with Matt

It's only day one with the list (see, I'm writing a blog post!), but so far it feels great to emerge from the cocoon of my bedroom and try to resume some normal activities.

I'm just really looking forward to the day I'm allowed to go for hour-long walks again!



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3 comments:

AZ said...

Oh Sara! Thanks for sharing these stories of the days after... I can only imagine how difficult the transition is, but it seems like you're approaching it with your usual thoughtfulness and resolve, which is all you can do for now, I think. And the photo of Henry is beautiful. Congratulations!

Anna said...

I am really glad you were able to leave the house for a little bit and get pampered.

What has the transition to maternity leave been like for you? I am due in about two months and wonder a lot about how I will handle the 12 weeks outside of the work environment. I really like your idea of making a list for the time--I think I will do that as well.

Anonymous said...

He's beautiful!

Do you put him to sleep on his belly with a blanket, though? Back to sleep without blankets is what they suggest to reduce the risk of SIDS.

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