- 4 years ago
- Wedding: June 2011
If you would like to read our birth story – find it here: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/staceyas-birth-story-we-went-two-weeks-early#axzz2ln9zCMiN
There are a ton of details I missed while writing it, so if I think of some more I may just add them in this post.
I’ll start from before his birthday. I loved being pregnant. LOVED it. I had a textbook pregnancy. No morning sickness, nausea etc. I felt amazing. I had a huge baby belly and loved it. I stayed as active as I could, never passed up opportunities to go out and about and really enjoyed all 37 weeks of it. My husband and I had to go to a fertility clinic to get pregnant, and with just a little bit of help (clomid/metformin) we were pregnant. We were both so thankful and lucky to be able to bring a little one into the world.
Brett was born 2 weeks early. I had intended on my last day of work being Nov 8th, giving me a week + to relax, organize, prepare meals, visit with my sister who was returning from Thailand and all that fun stuff. I worked Monday Nov 4th, and had Brett the night of Nov 5th.
After the labour and C-Section, i was wheeled back down into my room to be greeted by my husband, baby and parents. I really don’t remember much. The entire night was a fog because of the drugs and I really don’t remember anything except being worried about the baby. Since he was born late at night, they kind of just handed him to us and said “see you in a couple hours!” and left. It was terrifying. We kept hoping they’d come back and hook him up to a monitor or something so that if he stopped breathing we’d be alerted – but yeah, they don’t do that LOL. My husband and I had already been awake for 24hours and I had been in labour the entire time. We were exhausted. The nurses did offer to come and take Brett to hang with them in the nursery to let us sleep, but we declined. I didn’t feel right passing off my newborn to a nurse so quickly, and knew we would manage. That entire night my husband was in charge as I was still numb from the epidural, and obviously in some pain. He did diaper checks, snuggled him and went to him if he cried. The morning seemed to come in a hurry and we were bombarded with visitors (family only) which was nice. I looked like hell on wheels, but felt okay. I didn’t want to be in the hospital for the 72 hours they usually keep you in for after a c-section, so I started pestering the nursing staff about when i could get up and walk around. They told me to wait until noon to make sure the epidural had worn off and we would try then.
Sure enough, at noon I was able to get out of bed and just stand. Let me tell you – the pain from gravity alone on the incision was pretty bad, even with the amount of pain meds I was on. I was hooked up to an IV of something they called “epimorph” which I assume is a morphine mix of something, as well as a Torodol drip and Tylenol every 3 hours. Once i felt comfortable standing, every hour I was up out of bed doing a loop around the maternity ward. They kept telling me not to push it but I was trying to be a superhero and just kept at it. I would later regret that decision as the pain meds wore off and i realized how much pain I was actually in.
Anyways- skipping to the fun/not so fun stuff. Brett and I were discharged Thursday night, a day early after much persuasion that we would be fine at home and wanted to go. I was given a prescription for more Torodol which they highly recommended I keep taking for at least a week after, even if I thought I felt better. Tylenol and Torodol alternating, every 3 hours. It is a lot of drugs, but given the seriousness of the section it is about right 😉
When we got home, I was still in a ton of pain and a in blur. I really hadn’t had much opportunity to bond with Brett in the hospital due to the c-section recovery and my husband was doing so much and being so amazing. I kind of took a back seat and just observed. Family and friends kept asking me “how are you doing?” and to be honest, I lied. A lot. I put on a smile and would say I was doing great, or doing well when I felt like my entire world had been turned upside down. I didn’t want to hold Brett, feed him, change him. I was struggling to breast feed. Being 2 weeks early, he didn’t latch well. He wasn’t getting much from me and developed some jaundice before leaving the hospital, and our midwives encouraged us to use some formula to help keep his belly full and help the bilirubin levels go down. I was pumping what colostrum I could and feeding him by a small syringe, which was working. At the hospital, I was overwhelmed with opinions – it seemed like every nurse (and even midwife) had different opinions on what to do/not to do with Brett. One would say “do NOT introduce a bottle, you’ll ruin your chances at breastfeeding!”, a midwife would say that she didn’t believe in nipple confusion and tell me it was perfectly acceptable to do both, and so on, and so forth. Every time a new doctor/nurse would come in I thought “here we go again” and they would send me down some other path of guilt that i was doing something ELSE wrong, according to her. The lactation consultant at the hospital i found pushy and strange. I didn’t connect with her and found her kind of annoying. Maybe it was the meds or the hormones, but I just wanted to tell her to leave us alone and that we would figure things out on our own. Of course, another guilt trip would follow if the horrid “f” word came up (read= formula) and it was like being back in grade school being scolded by a teacher for sneaking a snack in under your desk.
Anyways, moving on. At home we did formula feeding and what we could of breasfeeding/pumping. As of this week, he’s getting mostly formula and about a bottle a day of pumped breastmilk. Oddly enough, he throws up the breastmilk almost every time which is hugely frustrating, so i think our transition to formula is imminent. We had a lactation consultant come to the house and while she had some great tips and tricks, I honestly could not dedicate every minute of my day to what needed to be done. It was a combination of using the nipple shield, not using it, pumping, “finger feeding” by syringe, waking him every 2 hours, and more or less not being able to leave my house … ever. I felt trapped. I felt alone. I felt judged. Everyone was yelling “don’t give up!!!” or “it’s so much more convenient!”. To which I say “poop”. It’s not for me. It’s not for us. I felt like a prisoner in my own body. I felt like I was failing him and failing at doing something I thought would be easy. I worried at night about how/when/where I would attempt to feed him if we went out. If that time we went out he wouldn’t latch and he’d go hungry. I was a mess. I am happy to say that now with the formula we are all much happier. If we go out, we pack a bottle, some water and some scoops of formula and off we go. If he’s hungry, we plop ourselves down on a bench, have a feed and a burp and we are set.
More about the first week and my baby blues. The Sunday after Brett was born (he was 5 days old) we had a family dinner at my in laws. Their family friend was there whom I’ve known for years. The second she asked me how I was, I just cried. Then she cried. I couldn’t even fake a smile, or lie to her. I just cried. My Mother-In-Law and SIL’s were there and then asked what was wrong, and I cried more. My husband came over to hug me, and I sobbed.. Uncontrollably. The family friend knew right away what was going on. She later came over to visit and told me about how she felt the same things when her kids were born.
The crying actually happened every time my husband hugged me those past few days. I was no longer able to fake that being a mom was THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER. It wasn’t. It wasn’t for me then. I wasn’t posting pictures on facebook exclaiming about how in love I was with our new son, wasn’t making phone calls or emailing or over the moon excited. I barely felt like I even HAD a son. I felt alone. I felt like I had my entire life was swept out from under me, the rug pulled out from my feet. Life as I knew it was gone. The days of sleeping in, going out, having a life – gone. I felt jealous of this new baby taking up so much of my time with my husband. Yes – I was jealous of my own son being with my husband, his father. I would look at him holding Brett and think “he used to hold me like that”, or “that used to be my spot on his shoulder” and i immediately missed my old relationship with my husband. As much as I hate to say it, for those days I honestly feel like I wanted to ‘undo’ all of this. I wanted the baby to… go away. I wanted him back in my belly for a little while longer, or wake up from this “dream” that appeared to be more of a nightmare. My husband was so in love with this new little being, and all I wanted to was to have him all to myself again. He would proudly show off our son and everyone would say “aren’t you SO in love with him!?!” and I’d just smile. Yes – I loved him, I thought. I didn’t like him right then though. I felt invaded, like all the visions of how I thought this family thing would go were all wrong. Brett was 2 weeks early – my plans to relax, visit and do all those fun pregnancy things were gone. I missed out on 2 weeks of baby belly kicks, enjoying the baby bump and everything about pregnancy I loved so much. All of a sudden, he was HERE. I didn’t know what to do with him. I still handed him off every chance I got, everyone said how “relaxed” I was. It was easier to smile and agree then tell them “I’m just not that into him” right now. 😉
As Monday rolled around my husband had to go back to work. Sunday night i just cried, and cried, and cried. The thought of him leaving me made me physically ill. I cried in his arms all night, and begged him not to leave in the morning. Of course he had to, but I wasn’t ready. We had my Mother-In-Law and mom lined up to be with me the entire day so I wouldn’t be alone. The days that week were the same – I crammed them as full of visitors as humanely possible – just don’t leave. Me. Alone. I begged. I pleaded anyone who was able to stay with me as I adjusted. Each morning my husband said goodbye I cried more.
During this first week, I learned more and more about Brett. I did more diaper changes. I did more feedings. More clothing changes and routine. I became more confident. By week two, I didn’t need as many visitors. I cried less and learned to fill my days with a few tasks to fill my time until my husband came home. Each day was a new activity, adventure out or to do list. I counted down the days until the weekend when my husband would be home with us and looked forward to that immensely.
We are now 3 weeks PP and I/ we are doing much better. I feel like a mom. I’m more protective over this little man than i was – i always have an eye on him when he’s with a family member, and want to make each day a little better than the last for him. I love watching him get bigger and bigger and make silly faces. We still aren’t sleeping well, and those restless nights are hard. Some nights when he just won’t stop crying we still get frustrated and wonder WTF we were thinking having a baby lol.
Our life now goes in 3 hour rotation. Diaper change, feed, burp, feed, diaper change, sleep. Every 2-3 hours. He sleeps well during the day and is getting a bit better at night. I’m now able to confidently go about my day and know that we will be alright. If we’re out and hes screaming in the car seat for food and we’re 2 minutes from home – he’ll be okay. If he’s fed, changed, burped at night and still screaming, let him scream. He’s fine. In 5 minutes he’ll calm down and life is good. They aren’t nearly as fragile as we think.
It’s all a learning curve. I’ve learned that whatever you expect about your pregnancy, labour and first few days – throw it out the window. Expect nothing. Expect the unexpected. Not only did we go 2 weeks early, the c-section was nothing I’d really considered (but was okay with), the breastfeeding, nurses opinions, and first weeks at home were not at ALL what I imagined. Not even close.
I am still hormonal. Silly things make me cry. I still miss my “old” relationship with my husband, but love our new family. I love my son. I love how far he’s come in 3 weeks, and so proud of him. I look forward to all the memories we’ll have together and love his little milk drunk smiles in the middle of the night. I know that one day (maybe in 20 years) it will just be my husband and I and we’ll be missing the days of having our kid(s) home with us. In the meantime, we will settle for dinner date nights, great babysitters and movie nights in with the little guy. My husband and I are both eager to finally get our “physical” relationship back soon and keeping that spark between us has been a huge help too. Gives us time away from being “mom and dad” and being “husband and wife” – and I think that’s incredibly important. Never thought that I’d be craving that physical aspect of our relationship as much as I do now, but am really looking forward to the days ahead when we can be together and have that dimension of our relationship back.
For anyone looking for any tidbits of advice on stuff that was helpful for us this past month, here’s my list.
-sleepsacks (the one with long sleeves and open bottom) – amazing for night time changes
-steal as many huge pads and mesh undies from the hospital as you can. You’ll thank me later lol.
-don’t stop taking the stool softeners. Maybe ever.
-have a couple different types of bottles on hand in case breastfeeding doesn’t work for you
-swaddling blankets – get them! Get some big ones to do nighttime swaddles in. Brett loves having his arms pinned tightly to his sides and swaddled up like a burrito. Without these blankets i’m not sure he would have slept at all the past 3 weeks
-sleep sheep/white noise machine : lifesaver.
-diapers : get all the diapers you can, you go through them like crazy!
-newborn size clothes (5-8lbs). I bought everything 0-3 months which is 8lb + and they were swimming on him. We had to do a mini shopping trip the day after we came home because nothing fit.
-if you live in a cold climate, the JJ cole Bundle me bag has been fabulous for walks and trips in the car, he’s always nice and toasty!
-if you’re still waiting for your baby… SLEEP. GET ALL THE SLEEP you can.
Thank you for reading, sorry this was so long. I hope that someone can look at this post one day and feel like they are not alone if they go through what I did. It’s all okay, it will get better… and you are normal.