June 8, 2007

Goddess of Awnings and Rashes


This picture looks as if I'm showing off the bandaid, but in fact I'm showing the foot and the attached skinny leg. But tell me the truth: my hand looks like the hand of Miss "I Think of Myself as a Model" on those Baby Einstein videos, doesn't it? It's something in the pose, as if I were conscious of how I wanted my hand to look in the photo. I swear I was thinking only of the foot at the time, and of keeping my hand from blocking a single toesie.

Notice I was not wearing nail polish. My plan was to wear my new L'Oreal Blush It Off, which is just as good as Sundry says, but the little pamphlet from the hospital said no nail polish. Well, bah.

Henry nurses every two hours for an hour. I am glad I have been through this before so I'm not panicking at the way half my time is spent pinned down to a chair. This part improves with time. And already he is not literally nursing every two hours: he often does, but then there are a few longer stretches in there.

A few weeks ago I read a post, I think it was on Playgroupie but I'm too aware of the countdown of the Nursing Clock to go look, about cracked nipples. I think my brilliant suggestion was Lansinoh. I would like to change my answer. My new answer is: Cut them right the hell off, because it will be far less painful in the long run. Save Lansinoh for something less painful, like, say, a leg amputation. And I would like to add that everyone who says that nipples don't crack if you're "doing it right" can BITE ME. The lactation consultant who came to see how things were going at the hospital said she doesn't know why anyone says that, since she herself got cracked nipples when she breastfed, and if a lactation consultant doesn't know how to do it right I don't know who does, and neither does she. I wish she would spread the word to her colleagues.

I sure am glad I have all the bigger clothes I wore before I looked right in maternity clothes, because that's all that fits right now. I had jeans in one and two sizes too big, and a couple of men's t-shirts that I wore Every Single Day, and that's what I'm wearing now. I think otherwise I'd be freaking out, and so I would like to take a moment to re-state what I think is an important rule for pregnancy: buy yourself a very small wardrobe of bigger-than-usual clothes. They'll get you through the "don't look pregnant, just look fat" first half of the pregnancy and then they'll serve you again post partum. I'm getting steadily smaller, but I still look about 4 months pregnant. It's sad but there it is, and it's a whole lot less sad if you can wear some comfy big clothes instead of having a choice between (1) squeezing into clothes that won't even button, and (2) wearing maternity clothes. Both depressing options.

It's nice to see my body deflating. I didn't retain a lot of water this time, but I retained enough that I'm happy to see my foot bones looking so pretty. My calves look all slim, too. I see my face returning to normal, which is such a relief: all through the pregnancy I think, "Oh, I am aging and I am so much less cute than I used to be, and why is my Good Skin all blotchy and pore-y and shiny?," and then I deliver the baby and there's my face coming back to me, cute as ever, albeit with undereye circles that rival an eclipse.

On the other hand, I've lost the Goddess of Fertility look I'd gotten used to. It's lovely to walk around feeling all gorgeous and round, even if you're also feeling heart burn, shortness of breath, and shooting pelvic pains. Now my look is, what? Goddess of Awnings and Rashes? There is a--*shudder*--flap where my stomach was. And pretty much everything they put on or in my body in the hospital left a mark: the adhesive (back, hand, chest, stomach, neck), the enormous synthetic underpants (whose brilliant idea were those?), the fentanyl (which feels delicious but makes me itchy).

Edward is crying "Lah! lah!" (lap), so that gives me a good ending for a post I wasn't sure how to end anyway. Thanks, Edward!

22 comments:

jonniker said...

Oh my GOD, that foot. The foot! I love! That! Foot!

(Obviously, I am trending towards a bit of a...babylust phase that I sincerely hope lasts. Because the foot! The face! The mini-Swistle!)

Penny said...

What are you, a week postpartum or something? and already have your feet, shins and fact back? Whore!

Kidding. I think it took me about 2 months to fit into non-maternity-but-very-large clothes. So I am very jealous.

The comb-over photo still looks cute. It's the chin; the chin and the cuteness of it can not be ignored. So! cute!

Penny said...

um, that first sentence? I meant to say "face." You have your face back. Not your facts, because clearly with the sleep deprivation and 5 kids and 1 of them constantly on your boob, facts are all relative right now, and if you actually retain any facts in your head, they will probably be things like Fact: I am tired. Fact: my nipples hurt.

And so on.

I am a teRible tYpisst.

Jodi said...

BABY toes! Makes me want to nibble on them!

And I HATE that people tell you if you are doing it right, breastfeeding doesn't hurt. I had to curl my toes and bite my lip for the first two weeks until my nipples got used to be sucked into the vortex called a newborn mouth. And it happened with each of my kids. All of them!

DiWriter said...

Oh, good heavens - nice to know that despite a really hard time getting the Pip-Girl to latch correctly, with both the help of the nurses at the hospital, two calls to La Leche and the support of everyone else...the NIPPLES, THEY DO HURT.

Amen.
I am two and a half weeks post-partum, and none of my clothes fit right, but then I was sort of slipping in the weightloss game before conception any way, so I might be the size I was before, and just in denial. (Not just a river in Egypt.)

Also, so happy to see my feet again...

DiWriter - who loves your blog and thinks that Henry is just about as cute as my daughter, aka Pip Squeak.

Shelly said...

Nothing is cuter than baby toes.

Mommy Daisy said...

It sounds like all is well in the newly-babied-Swistle-household. Glad to hear nursing is going ok. Hopefully the discomfort won't last long. Love, love the baby feet. Thanks for sharing that picture.

desperate housewife said...

Baby feet are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! Jim got a little frightened of my obsession with nibbling the toes when Addy was a newborn. (Now that her feet actually touch ground, they are still inexplicably precious to me, but much less nibbl-able.)
I am so glad to hear about the feet and the ankles and the face returning. It's all I can think about, me with my three months (to the day!) left to go. Actually, perhaps I'll go write a complaining post about this very subject!

Jennifer Playgroupie said...

Beautiful foot! That leg won't be skinny for long!

And thank you for retracting the tired "lansinoh" answer! That stuff is useless on bleeding fissures. Seriously, the best advice I got was for APNO cream...look it up on kellymom.com. Must get it from a compounding pharmacist and it's spendy but well worth the money.

Swistle said...

Lansinoh is still better than no-Lansinoh...but better still would be an ointment with some sort of skin-absorbed narcotic in it. In fact, I've wondered if something like teething gel would be good. That's what they use to numb gums before the 2-inch needle goes in. But maybe that would numb the baby's mouth, then, too.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Teeny tiny baby feet make me crazy. Now if you could just put a scratch-n-sniff "baby head" sticker on your website, I'd have to run out at get pregnant again.

OH the cracked nipples. I would sweat and curse and cry every time I had to nurse. And woe onto him who mentioned that perhaps I could try a little Lansinoh. As if!

Shauna said...

Aww. Sweet baby feet. Love them!

I resorted to taking tylenol or advil to help with the nipple pain. Totally helped until my nips 'toughened up.'

BTW - Henry is beautiful. Don't care what you say. Love the comb over!

Stacie said...

Oh the foot. The teeny tiny adorable baby foot. I LOVE IT. I want to nibble on it. I think I shall go nibble on the larger feet of my almost toddlers.

And, the nipples, yeah. Mine hurt. Mine cracked and bled. I pumped pink. LOTS of people tell me that is normal and it hurts at first for some people even if you are doing it perfectly. So there, LCs of the world.

I wish I had heard about that ointment back when I needed it. I would have paid whatever the compounding pharmacist asked.

Misty said...

Two things, Swistle: After a recent tryst with thrush from the baby, (which to my dismay, caused cracking AND bleeding) I desperately tried the overnight (because it is supposed to last, right?) Ora-gel thing because I was desperate, desperate I tell you!, for pain relief and it did not work.

Two - Oh yes, the beautiful postpartum feet that you look at and say, what pretty feet I have. Not like peachy colored sausages at all! Look how dainty and thin my size 14 feet are! I remember that feeling :)

Shannon said...

We just went full time 100% nursing and I'm glad to hear from folks that PAIN IS NORMAL instead of reading everywhere "if it hurts, you are WRONG, return back to go". Way to make new moms feel more like crud than they already do.

Ok, rant over.

Such a sweet foot! Elise is nursing every 2 hours, too...and my clock is running short on ticks.

Shannon said...

Oh yeah, and 6 weeks post partum, I think if you looked hard enough, you could still find some adhesive from tape somewhere on my body.

Kelsey said...

That tiny foot is exactly why I need to have another baby. I can no longer believe that Harper's feet were ever that small and I must touch another to know that it can be true!

Omaha Mama said...

Thanks for the cute pic. I think you should post one of you too. I'm amazed that you aren't having to wear maternity clothes as a necessity, since I still looked, say 8 mo. preggo at that point. Well done you!

I struggled with cracks in the nipples both times, and wow that hurts like hell. I hope it gets better soon!

Marie Green said...

Did you know it was possible to have babylust even when you already have a baby in the house? I didn't either, but that's what's going on over here.

For the nipples, have you tried those hydrogels (or sometimes called Soothies)? They are cool and soothing and Ahhhh. I swear, when my own nipples were cracked (and YES, I too was doing it "right"), and they brought me those sweet little gels, I swear I heard the hum of life as the heavens opened up.

Just an idea...

Erica said...

OMG! Those feet! Those toes! I must nibble them!

Black Sheeped said...

What a sweet little foot. :)

The Mama Beth said...

Possibly useless information, and I know Misty above had a different experience, but for me, the Oragel did in fact make a difference. In fact, I think it is the only thing that saved breastfeeding with my second baby. Undiagnosed thrush led to mastitis, and OH MY GOD the pain. Three more years to read...I'm just a smidge OCD.