Today is June 7 and the ticker that has been at the top of our weblog since October, counting down the days until Istra’s arrival, is now obsolete. Of course, it was obsolete as of 11:29pm on May 28, but Tim and I thought we would leave it there to mark the day that she was supposed to have been born. Today it reads “0 days left” and Istra is now 10 days old.
I’ve been pretty busy for the past 10 days! It is time-consuming looking after a tiny baby and there were many adjustments that I had to make and am still making. First of all and probably the most challenging thing has been breastfeeding. The first few days after Istra was born were a torture that I had to endure every 2 hours practically on the dot. I’ve said to the people who asked me how my labour was that labour was easy compared to breastfeeding. At least with labour you can approach it with the mindset that “soon this will be over”; but I have committed to breastfeeding Istra for at least a year, if at all possible, so it was a little bit daunting to be experiencing so much pain from the very beginning and with no end in sight.
Elizabeth has been very helpful and encouraging. It was good to hear from her that what I was experiencing was just the normal sensitivities and soon I would “toughen up” and everything would be much better. She checked both my and Istra’s technique to make sure that it wasn’t the fault of either of us that was causing the pain. Istra seemed to know what she was doing from the very beginning, while I had to reread the section on latch and positioning in my La Leche League book to make sure that I was doing it right. On this, Istra’s 10th day of life, I think I can safely say that things are much improved. I’m not afraid of her anymore anyway.
On Sunday Istra went for her first longish trip out of the house to visit family in Hamilton, followed by a return trip for Whitney’s graduation dinner on Monday. Leaving the house is quite a bit more complicated now (which makes Tim and I—not really the most social people to begin with—a lot less inclined to do it). A rather large bag full of diapers, wipes, blankets, burp cloths, zip lock bags and other odds and ends must be packed. The car seat must be installed. Istra must be dressed and fed whether she wants to be or not. She then must be strapped into said car seat and somehow convinced that she does indeed want to sit there immobile for the next hour or so. On the first trip to Hamilton I sat in the back with her (just in case) and had to stick my finger in her mouth practically the whole way. She still wasn’t happy, but having something to suck on made the experience a little bit more endurable for her. On the second trip she slept the whole way there, but struggled against the harness in her sleep. The sad look she got on her face when she subconsciously realized that all her struggles were futile was pretty heartbreaking.
All in all though, she handled the car seat better than Tim and I expected. This gives me a bit of hope for future trips to the cottage.
Today Istra, Tim and I will venture out yet again, this time to our first midwife appointment at the clinic since the birth. Our appointments since Istra’s arrival have been home visits but from now until she is 6 weeks old Elizabeth will see her at her office on Dupont St.