It has been a long time between posts, but my big update is that I am now a mother to a 1-month-old little baby girl! Let’s play catch-up:
- I did a natural, unmedicated birth, at a birth center with the help of midwives. I loved the experience of midwifery care. The birth itself was over 25 hours! Was it painful? YES!!! Do I care now? No. It’s true that you forget the pain once it’s over and done with. Thanks to the midwifery care, I was able to avoid an episiotomy or any stitches, and healed much quicker. At a hospital, they probably would have pressured me into a c-section.
- Since I was unmedicated, and all vitals were good, we were able to go home just 4 hours after the birth. Home sweet home!
- The midwife told me that because my baby was born past-term and the amniotic fluid was meconium-stained, a hospital would have taken the baby immediately to the neonatal intensive care unit at birth (for liability reasons, not because she needed to go… to the contrary, she had a good, strong & clear cry and strong vitals). If that had happened, I would have missed out on the initial bonding and latching that has led to relatively easy breastfeeding.
- I am very thankful that my baby was totally healthy and robust. My paleo diet during pregnancy (plus some rice and dairy) seemed to produce great results! This baby got lots of vitamins, minerals, and folate from my varied diet, and my iron/hemoglobin levels were in good shape going into the birth [See my posts about the Glucose Tolerance Test for the one “drawback” to paleo during pregnancy (the short story is that paleo gals, especially ones who stick to lower carbohydrate foods, are set up to fail this mandatory test that requires chugging glucose; however, by eating complex carbs for a few days before the test you can get accurate results)].
- Speaking of iron/hemoglobin levels, they really do need to be high before birth (thank you, grass-fed beef, organic chicken livers, and leafy greens!). I had no idea how knocked out I’d be after the birth! Losing that much fluid and blood all at once is intense. The day after the birth we decided to walk to Starbucks, a few blocks away, and I had to walk verrrry slowly. I didn’t expect that!
- Breastfeeding is great! It was very painful for the first week. I used coconut oil for nipple care, and breathed through each latch which was intensely painful. Then, after a week, it wasn’t painful anymore!
- I did get mastitis (clogged breast duct that gets infected, causing pain, fever, chills, etc…) but was able to stop it quickly without antibiotics by drinking lots of water, nursing the infected side despite the pain, applying moist heat (hot wash cloths), massaging the area, and I also stopped wearing a too-tight nursing bra at night.
- Changing diapers is not hard. The first one I ever changed was my own baby’s diaper! And even cloth diapers are not gross, or hard to use. We use cloth during the day at home, and use disposables for going out, for travel, and for night-time. At least we’ll save a *little* landfill space!
So, those are some of the things I’ve learned. Week 1 was the hardest, because I was still figuring out some things (“side-lay” is a nursing position which is great for napping while nursing! Yay!).
Lots of good things, but during the past month I’ve been very lax about my diet, and a lot of sugar & useless carbs have crept in!!! My excuse “breastfeeding!”… But now that January 1 is upon us, I think a low-sugar detox is in order. Time to get healthy to be a good role model for this little baby!
Happy 2015 everybody!