I go back to work today. Minimally, only 3 to 6 pm. I feel ready, actually. Owen has been a totally new baby these last few days, it's amazing.
We met with a lactation consultant last week, I had been having nipple pain and also wanted advice about pumping for my going back to work, and advice also on bottles - Owen is such a super-sucker that even the slow slow flow bottles can flood him with milk and he sputters and gags. The LC was so amazingly helpful - turns out I have very high milk supply even though I don't get engorged, and poor babyboy was getting flooded with milk - causing a lot of his coughing/gagging/reflux issues. We worked out a plan for my nursing him to try to address those issues and in a matter of days he's become so much better. The bottle issue still remains a bit of a mystery, we'll see how he does with it today.
We also met on Saturday with a woman who used to work in the NICU as a respiratory specialist (and also worked on med flights for babies) to help assuage my fears about Owen's breathing, and my incompetence as a new mom (!)... She owns a resource center for moms that has classes, moms groups, etc. and we went up there and spent the afternoon with her. We have now termed her the Baby Whisperer (nothing to do with the book or the method, just that she totally keyed into Owen and us and helped us so phenomenally it's like we brought home a different baby.) She told us Owen is perfectly healthy and normal and gave us some excellent strategies to help him sleep out of our arms, to soothe him, to calm us. It has truly been amazing. Owen has slept in his bassinet the last three nights, and it's been remarkably peaceful and easy. He naps during the day in his pack n play. During the day, when he's awake, he's happy and giggly, cooing and chatting away with us. Then he gets tired, and then he sleeps. He's nursing calmly and happily, no sputtering or gagging or choking for the last week. I'm sure the reflux meds are helping, of course, too. I feel like I might get through this year after all.
I'm also sure some of this has to do with him maturing, he is now 10 weeks (though 5 1/2 weeks adjusted?). We saw the doctor yesterday for his two month appointment. I left the room for his vaccinations, wisely. E told me I will never be allowed to be in the room for them! Owen handled them like a total champ though. Only a little bit of additional fussiness last night and now he seems fine. Laughing and smiling in the gymini this morning even!
When we met with the lactation consultant, and we were talking about my milk supply, she mentioned that I'm blessed in that Owen has a great latch and I have plenty of milk for him. We discussed that I had been afraid, having a c-section, that it could've affected my milk supply. She mentioned that oversupply is often a problem that second time mothers have to deal with...and then paused, and said, "And you are a second time mother, this is the second time your body has made milk for a baby, Sarah. Your body knew what to do, because of Otis."
I just started crying and crying. I thought about my first O, my Otis, looking over us, and helping to make sure I have enough milk for my second O, his little brother.
Yesterday when I walked outside there was a huge, glorious, beautiful dandelion puffball, its seeds ready to blow in the wind. Next to it, a bright yellow dandelion blooming. There they are, my two boys. I feel Otis here with me more than ever these days.
I received a card from a very sweet BLM yesterday, and in it, she wrote, "May Otis live in your heart as Owen grows in your arms..." I couldn't ask for anything more.