I can’t believe it’s been one month! The fastest and slowest month of my life. Here’s our first month with baby Maximilian.
Max is such a sweet little boy. We are loving having him as part of our family. He is so efficient at breast feeding, I don’t really even have to try that hard with him to get him to latch. But Moms – before you are too jealous, I’ll tell you about the struggle.
On day 3 postpartum, I began over producing milk. Like WAY overproducing. In addition to feeding Max, I would need to pump for my comfort and to prevent mastitis. I would end up pumping off 750-1000 mL per day! My boobs were literally out all of the time. UGH. Our freezer is full of breast milk. I quickly contacted the local milk bank to donate my breast milk. I began undergoing the work up to donate and…what do you know…cancer survivors are not able to donate. You have to be cancer free for 3 years. I wasn’t asked what type of ovarian cancer I had, what type of treatment, my risk of recurrence…if you had the big C then a one size fits all ‘NO.’ Based on no scientific evidence. It’s extremely disappointing because you want to do good. You want to give back. Here I have something in abundance that is considered liquid gold but yet it’s not good enough… I’m not good enough. It does feel like medical discrimination. I’m always advocating for cancer survivors and I did my part with the milk bank too. Hopefully if more of us ask ‘why,’ things like this will change.
Mr. Max is really starting to respond to Marc’s voice. Marc talks to him about all kinds of things and Max will stare and smile (even though it might be reflex or gas – still warms the heart). Marc and I have also worked really hard to balance life. As I’m off on maternity leave, I have assumed a lot of the responsibilities when it comes to baby (impossible not to when you’re breastfeeding) but it’s still important that we are both very involved parents. You can tell whatever we are doing is working because even though he spends far more time with me, Max doesn’t respond to my voice the same way he responds to his Dad.
Life as a parent has been easier than I anticipated. The 4 am feedings, the inconsolable cries, are all much easier to cope with than anticipated. Even when he is crying and I can’t figure out why, I find it comforting to know he is mine, the bus stops with me, and I will eventually figure it out. It was always much more stressful when I couldn’t stop someone else’s baby from crying.
I’ve also been enjoying maternity leave a lot more than I anticipated. I was worried I might lose my mind (lol) but I’ve really been enjoying it. I’ve always loved my work and helping people with cancer but have found balance in still blogging, sharing on IG/Facebook, and working on my upcoming ebooks! It’s allows me to stay intellectually engaged while spending the bulk of my time with Max. Plus… it’s pretty amazing to be able to have a little chickadee that wants to snuggle against me as much as he can.
Max’s birth was a complete roller coaster. I ended up having both an episiotomy and a C-section. My C-section began healing wonderfully but the episiotomy has caused some serious grief. 5 weeks post-partum, I am still in significant pain. The episiotomy healed poorly, meaning that I will need to have it corrected to ultimately get rid of the pain. More cutting = longer recovery = very disappointed Momma. Exercise is such a predominate part of my life, it’s disappointing to still only be able to manage short walks but I physically am not able to do anything else.
I was told this week that I should be grateful to have had a c-section and an episotomy because that means I was able to have a baby. That’s kind of like telling someone who broke their leg to be grateful because some people have no legs at all. I honestly don’t feel grateful when I am in consistent pain and dealing with complications. I am unable to get back to the physically fit life that I love (and has been adjusted since July when I became pregnant). The impact is both physical and mental. This c-section is my second major surgery and I’ve noticed a difference in my recovery. It’s a lot slower. There’s tough days and brilliant days but all in all – still feeling pretty beat up.
Those are the highs and lows of month one. We are so looking forward to what month two has to bring!