We’ve made it two months without any catastrophes and I consider that to be a stellar achievement! It’s hard to believe how fast the time has flown by and how much Harrison has changed over the past 8+ weeks (and how much I’ve changed for that matter!)
Harrison has grown like crazy. At his appointment this morning, he weighed in at 14 pounds 2 ounces (which is more on par with the average 4 month old!) He was in the 94% percentile. His height was in the 90% at 24 1/4. His head was in the 52% at 15 3/4… the nurse immediately told us not to freak out that it was so out of sync with the other percentages because is head is growing at a proportional rate and said everything looked great as far as that goes. I’m not sure how it makes sense considering everyone made such a big deal about his big head when he was born, but I’ll just have to take their word for it! His doctor said he looks “fantastic.” We talked about our concern about the milk protein allergy. I told him I’d been dairy free for about 3 weeks now (except for when I had some pureed sweet potatoes last week that were cooked with butter) and we hadn’t seen a substantive change in his stool (still green and mucusy with specks of blood on occassion, liquid diarrhea at other times, with a diaper every now and then looking normal). He said if we haven’t seen a change that I could go ahead and enjoy my cheese- reason being that Harrison is growing well and is not colicky at all (which would be a sign of discomfort). He is occasionally gassy but it usually passes quickly, and any crying is typically soothed by nursing or cuddling. I am a little nervous that he might break out when I indulge in my favorite food vice, since he did experience that the day after I had butter last week, but I suppose it could be coincidence. My sister-in-law is making chicken parmesan tonight so I figure it is the perfect time to test it out. To be honest, 3 weeks without dairy hasn’t been as miserable as I expected. I lost another 3 pounds and the dairy free diet is probably a large contributing factor considering I couldn’t have all the baked goods and ice cream that I was accustomed to. The hardest thing to resist was pizza (we went to a great pizza place for my nephew’s birthday, but their other food is fairly disappointing. I got through it, but not without significant complaining.) I’m glad that his doctor isn’t concerned about it, but if Harrison does break out significantly tomorrow, I’ll probably try to stick out the diet a bit longer. I have to say that I am extremely grateful that this has been the biggest concern we’ve had with regard to Harrison’s health. I see other mamas watching their babies suffer and I’m so impressed with their courage and strength as they make it through situations where there isn’t a solution as simple as cutting out dairy (because while it is a pain and sacrifice, it certainly doesn’t compare to watching your kid go through open heart surgery or chemo). That being said, food intolerances can be much more severe than what we have experienced, and I can only imagine how frustrating it is to be trying so hard to make your child better while still desiring to breastfeed. Having heard from moms who have had to give up dairy and nuts and eggs… more power to you! These three weeks alone have been a challenge for me, and while I know we would all do anything necessary for our babies, your strength is nothing to scoff at. While I’m hoping my little experiment tonight goes well and that I’m not joining the dairy free crew again, I can certainly empathize with those of you making this lifestyle change for the sake of your child. Nick told me I could go ahead and throw out all the products I bought but I have to say, the Ripple plant based half and half and Lara bars have kind of become addictive! They’re my best recommendations if you find yourself giving up dairy.
Harrison’s 2 month appointment also brought his first round of immunizations- DTaP, Hib, Hepatitis B, Polio, PCV13, and Rota. It sounds like A LOT, right? The slew of vaccines was condensed into 3 different shots and one oral dose (for the Rota), but it was such a sad thing to watch! He cried during the shots but calmed down quickly afterward. So far, so good for Harrison’s reaction. He’s been his usual self all afternoon and is currently full of smiles and laughs next to me as I write.
SO Harrison is doing pretty darn well for his first two months on the outside. I have felt marked improvements in myself as well. Working out has been hard- I mean really hard. Part of it is the result of the c-section, but part of it is just because I am so out of shape it is ridiculous. There are the obvious things you would expect for post-c-section challenges (lying on my back and lifting both legs straight up seems virtually impossible now). I can do planks, but when I try to do exercises from the plank position, I have to switch to a kneed plank. It is just too much pressure on my core. The accompanying HIIT workouts I have been doing show me just how pathetic my endurance is. I regularly have to take breaks for fear I will puke everywhere. I am so impressed by the ladies who go to these classes and I just can’t help but watch in disbelief, wondering how I got to this low. While I am seeing a slow improvement in my ability, it has only been 2 weeks, so I know I need to give myself time. As my husband said to me yesterday, “You can’t wait to be good at something to start it.” Isn’t that the truth. I just need to suck up the embarrassment and commit to getting better!
One impediment to this goal though is that I’ve had this persistent numbness/ shooting pinching pain in my right foot since my c-section. It’s in the area on the outside of my foot below my ankle. If I touch it, the outer layer feels numb. If I roll my ankle in a circle, I feel the sharp pinch. The worst part though is that it has occasionally made my foot turn in. When I got home from the hospital and noticed the issue for the first time, I was scared it would cause me to fall when I was holding the baby. But it didn’t get that bad until my HIIT class yesterday when I fell backwards onto my butt during the warmup. I shook it off but it was super embarrassing. I never really put two and two together that this problem could have resulted from my surgery but when I asked our friend who is an OB, she said the spinal block can definitely be the cause of that kind of issue. Since nerves are really slow to heal, it could be about 6 months before I see improvement.
When I made that association between the surgery and my foot, I felt a renewed frustration at how the whole situation turned out. My mom tried to remind me that it is a good thing c-sections are available and that people die without them. She reiterated that my doctor absolutely made the right call for both my safety and the baby’s. And I do believe she’s right. But I still find myself hoping for the possibility of a VBAC in the future. I guess time will tell. I have to admit though, whenever I get down about it, all that disappointment fades when that little face looks up at me and smiles.
Since the foot problem may be sticking around a while, Nick bought me a new pair of sneakers and I have to say, they are a dream. I tested them out on a light jog/walk with Harrison around the neighborhood this afternoon and I had absolutely no issues with my foot. The weather has been phenomenal this week and I really wanted to test out our UPPAbaby stroller as a jogging stroller. This stroller was one of the first gifts we received when we found out we were expecting. My mom had researched every stroller on the market (which was great, because I wasn’t really interested in researching anything in the early days of the pregnancy due to all the anxiety I had)… all I had to do was pick the color. I settled on navy before we knew the sex because I figured it was pretty neutral and a little prettier than black or gray. Now that I’m starting to take Harrison out a bit more, I have to say this stroller is AMAZING. It is so light that I can lift it and stash it in my trunk easily on my own (despite having NO arm strength as I’ve recently learned in my workouts). It is compatible with my Chicco carseat (with an adaptor), AND it works fabulously as a jogging stroller by simply locking the front wheels. I have the Vista model and another great aspect of the stroller is that you can add a second seat should another kid come along while Harrison is still using it. Score!
I only have two more weeks after this one before I return back to work, so I’m going to try to make the most of it. Let me know your best suggestions for how to spend your maternity leave once you were up and out of the house!