Sunday, June 24, 2012

{two weeks}

From the two week mark, I look back on the first week and am amazed at how much we survived. :) I wrote about some last post, but I missed a few biggies: engorgement (oh my so painful!), sleep deprivation (to be expected but so much harder than imagined), and the postpartum hormones.

Giving birth, my own physical recovery, and caring for a newborn have all been so much more intense than I had imagined. Duh, right? I mean, of course it is challenging!! But I couldn't fathom how much so. Now that I have another week under my belt, I feel like I can be a little more reflective - and thankful - for surviving that first week. :)

In many ways the second week has been much easier. Our family help was gone (and very missed!:), but our church family started bringing us dinners 4x per week (SO appreciated!). We know our James better, can read his cues, and have established a bit of "the norm" - as much as you can when he is still unpredictable, at least. Most days I feel very content feeding him, which is what I feel like I do 24/7 at this point, and love kissing his sweet little face at any opportunity. I love having my husband home and am so thankful for his help and support!

Some highs and lows from the week:

*James is very much awake for a large part of the night. Our "routine" is that my husband stays up with him between the 9:00pm- 2am feeding, and then I am with him 2-7ish when we wake daddy up for morning cuddles (aka get up and help me with the baby). if we get him to sleep on any of those shifts we feel successful, and if we get him to sleep in the pack-n-play in our room - and all 3 of us sleep at the same time - we feel very successful indeed! That seems to happen about 50% of the time, and some nights we are too tired to even try. :)

* We ended up getting a SwaddleDesigns flannel blanket that has worked out perfectly! It is just the right size and he is such a content boy when he's all burrito-like in it. (sorry no link since I'm writing this from my phone, but there is a blue polka dot one on Amazon for around $15!)

* Other than not sleeping at night, James continues to be pretty mellow. If he does get upset, he is soothed by his swaddle, being rocked/ bounced, sucking on a finger, the sound of running water or the hair dryer, and eating, of course. :) The running water one is hilarious because he screams his little head off when we give him a sponge bath, but then we hold his head next to the faucet to rinse his hair and he is instantly calm, alert, and content. :)

* The "baby blues" have been very real for me. This has been the hardest part of my second week, and at around dinner time most nights I have completely lost it and became a sobbing mess. Most of the time there is nothing very tangible to attribute it to, and usually I just tell my husband I feel really bad and don't feel like myself. In these moments I second guess everything I am doing/ not doing as a mom, and it just feels like PMS x10. The "baby blues"care supposed to subside around two weeks postpartum - and I didn't have a melt down today - so hopefully things are looking up. I also notice I am more likely to have a melt down if I am especially tired, so I am trying to be more diligent about napping throughout the day.

* At James' first pediatrician appointment last week at 5 days old, he still weighed the same amount he did when he left the hospital (8lbs. 4ozs. at birth, 7lbs. 11ozs. at discharge). It had only been a few days and my milk had just come in, so the pediatrician wasn't concerned. This week James has been a fabulous eater, exceeding the amount of wet & dirty diapers recommended, looking satisfied after meals with milk dribbling down his cheek, etc. imagine my shock at his two week appointment yesterday when the nurse put him on the scale and he STILL weighed 7lbs. 11ozs!! What?! Thankfully the pediatrician was very reassuring and says he has an intuitive sense that James is doing just fine and will put on weight by next week. I have a bunch of theories about the lack of gain (I was pumped full of fluids for probably 20 hours of my labor and very swollen afterwards - maybe his birth weight was inflated, maybe he will be long and lean like his dad - he did grow a 1/4", etc), and my mom instinct is that James is thriving. However, my main and all consuming job right now is to feed him, and finding out we have been "unsuccessful" was very discouraging and made it hard not up worry. I am now feeding him every 2 hours during the day and 3 at night unless he is hungry earlier (was doing 2-3 before based on hunger cues).

* Physically I am feeling almost back to normal. I still have a pooch for a belly but I don't think I look pregnant anymore. :) My only continued pain has been a sore left hip/ lower back, which seems random but I assume his from stretching ligaments and stuff while pregnant / delivering. Thankful to be feeling well this week!

* By the end of this week James has become SO much more alert! I love his cute little expressions as he just stares at our faces or takes in his surroundings. On his two week birthday I put a black and white dangly toy in front of him and he stared at it as though mesmerized! And I know it probably 'coincidence' like it is when he 'smiles' right now, but he did bat at the toy a number of times.

* James went out to lunch with us this week to celebrate our 7th anniversary. I actually got dressed up and wore make up. It took two outfit changed for James to get out the door, but we made it and the restaurant gave us a secluded table on the patio that was perfect. James started to fuss in his car seat, but I held him and he slept the entire lunch. Such new adventures for all of us!


Jennifer said...

I will never forget the shock when we took our little girl to the 2 week appointment and found out she was still 6 ounces below her birth weight. We'd thought she must be putting on weight like crazy as she had lots of diapers and looked great and so on. Obviously, being first-time parents, it was very scary and worrisome. However, our pediatrician was not concerned because she looked good otherwise.

We were sent home with instructions to feed every two hours, which we did religiously except for one 3 to 4 hours stretch every 24 hours during which I'd get a bit more sleep. At every feeding, I'd offer both sides at least twice. We also began weighing her using a postal scale because I never wanted that kind of shock at the doc again. The bottom line is our LO started gaining weight like crazy at 2 weeks. Hopefully that will happen for your too! Try not to worry so much. It sounds like your baby is doing great and is just a little bit of a slow gainer at first. I think a lot more babies are than you'd think. said...

I have been checking daily to see an update from you! I am so, so happy for you guys and I'm so thankful to see your dream realized with your little boy in your home and happy and healthy.

It gets easier. Everything does. I think the first 6 weeks postpartum are the most difficult. I'm sure his weight will be up at the next appointment :)

So, so happy for you guys :)

Melissa G said...

You're so cute with your 2 am post here, hee hee.

Gosh it sounds like things are going remarkably well, even though at times you may disagree. I remember feeling "unsuccessful". But really, you two are handling all this like champs. Brian and I worked in shifts too, and I really feel like it made all the difference. And having food brought in was SO helpful, it's lovely that your church is able to help so much.

The pictures you included are just darling. Keep up the great work, mama! (and daddy!)

Barb said...

Congratulations!! He is adorable!
The first couple months are difficult - hang in there! You're doing great!
We used the SwaddleDesign for swaddling - they were the best of all the blankets we had.
So, so happy for you, and your beautiful blessing!

andreajennine said...

Oh, he's a cutie!

:- ) said...

Hes so precious! It makes me smile to see that cute little pic. So happy for you! I cant wait to experience this!!!!! :-)

Emry said...

He is precious. Congratulations. And your baby blues experience sounds identical to mine. Something about the evenings is so hard when there's a new baby around. I cheered up considerably after about two weeks, so hopefully you will, too.

Melody said...

Simply adorable! :)

kdactyl said...

Both my babies were night owls in the beginning too...but usually they will start developing a day/night pattern with a little help. Keep it dark at night and don't interact other than to change or feed. During the day...feed more frequently...keep it light and talke and interact a lot. after about a week...they will start changing over to just eat and then go back to sleep at night. But it is so exhausting those first few weeks. Sounds like you are taking it all in and really enjoying these early days despite the lack of sleep and elevated hormones.
If he loves the sound of water...get one of those sound has done wonders for our youngest child. The rain setting is our favorite.
Love the pictures....keep them coming. so very happy all is going well for your family.

Hilary said...

Our pediatrician gave us the best advice when ours was only a few days old: keep him awake for 20-30 minutes after each daytime feeding. This will help "switch" his body from being nocturnal to being normal. Along with daytime feedings every 2-3 hours (even if you have to wake him up!), he should start sleeping better at night. It worked for us, and we started getting 5 hour stretches of sleep around 3 weeks old (swaddling with the velcro swaddles at night helped a lot too). Good luck!!

E said...

We had a rough time with weight gain, too. Ella actually lost a 1 lb in the hospital and gained very slowly for weeks after. The one part that helped was getting a better latch when nursing and I would pump with a double electric pump for 15 minutes after nursing her. Then I would feed what I pumped to her and she would sleep better and then feed better the next time. Those early weeks are so so so hard! I also found a nursing support group at a local hospital very helpful for those baby blues, too.
The Baby Ktan was the best purchase I made, just google it. Hang in there!

Rach said...

So adorable! I miss those days when Avalyn was so tiny.

Cath said...

What a beautiful blessing! Glad you are feeling better and got out for your anniversary.

Buck said...

I totally think there's something to "inflated" birth rates. I was pumped so full of fluids I weighed 5 lbs more AFTER I gave birth than my top pregnancy weight. I was a swollen mess because of the fluids. As a result, J went from 7 lb 4 oz at birth to 6 lb 9 oz when she came home. I really think a lot of that was "water weight." Once my milk came in she gained and was fine. I'm sure your little J will get chubby in no time too!

Amber said...

I totally remember dinner time having melt downs almost nightly for the first 3 weeks or so. It got better! It is amazing how crazy being a mom is, isn't one can explain it to you so you know what to anticipate! What a cute little miracle!