Wow, there has been so much to write about lately! First, again, thank you to everyone for your comments this week! I have loved reading your reactions to our birth story. Second, this is a really, really long post and most people will probably find it incredibly boring. However, I wanted to get this all down for myself before I forget. This is such an awesome part of my life and I don’t want to lose any of it! Here’s what’s going on with our start at breastfeeding, cloth diapering and how we’re all adjusting to our new family.
Baby2 took to breastfeeding like a natural. She ate for a solid hour after she was born. I couldn’t believe it! It didn’t take much to get her latched on and going.
The rest of that first day I attempted to feed her a dozen times, but she just wanted to sleep. The nurses and lactation consultant all assured us that sleeping the first whole day is completely normal. She ate wonderfully all night and the next morning, but she ended up losing eight ounces in the hospital.
She has continued to eat like champ since we arrived home Thursday at noon. She gained three ounces back by the time we saw the pediatrician on Friday morning! I had been anticipating that weigh-in for sure!
So far she’s eating about every 1-1/2 to 3 hours, but she has enjoyed some cluster feeding around dinner time. I’m not thinking at all about a schedule yet, just working her into an easy eat, play, sleep routine (more on that in a couple weeks).
My milk came in Saturday morning. I have felt very full but not painfully engorged. Mr. Handsome says my boobs are twice as big as Baby2’s head. I say they’re only one and a half times as big. I did have to bust out my pump on Saturday afternoon to get some relief, as Baby2’s 20-minute feedings just weren’t cutting it (I get a good 30-minute feeding a couple times a day). I got a solid two ounces in five minutes which was enough to feel some relief. Time to start building a breastmilk stash! I pumped again this morning for another two ounces. If I can continue to get just two ounces a day I’ll have 112 ounces saved by the time I go back to work!
Nights are honestly not bad. We put Baby2 down in her crib, but once she starts eating at night we keep her in our bed. That way I still get some sleep and Mr. Handsome doesn’t have to be too disturbed either. I’ve been taking a daily nap and so far keeping my energy at a good level.
Oh my goodness we are loving cloth diapers! Baby2 was in disposables for her first day, but we put a prefold and cover on her on Thursday morning and haven’t looked back. We’re using Osocozy size one prefolds with Snapis and covers by Kissaluvs, Thirsties, Bummis and Rumparoos (one of each brand, two newborn sized and two one-sized, two Velcro and two snaps). We haven’t picked a favorite yet, but we’ll get to that I’m sure.
So far we’ve done CD laundry once a day and OMG it is so easy! I literally empty the big wet bag into the machine, do a cold rinse then add my Nellie’s detergent to a hot wash with a cold rinse cycle. Pop in the dryer (we need a clothesline-type device!) and we’re done! We used flushable liners for two days to catch the newborn tar poop, but on Saturday she gave us nice liquid breastmilk poo so we ditched the liners. The diapers clean up just like new – even the ones that got tar poop on them!
We’re using cloth wipes too. So far we’ve just used water on the wipes. We keep a little bottle of water on the dresser and wet each wipe before use. Of course we haven’t had to clean too many colossal poos yet, but this method is working well so far!
She is such an amazing baby! She rarely cries and when she does it is so easy to soothe her (thank goodness for The Happiest Baby on the Block!). She’s had fantastic periods of active alertness after feedings. It’s so wonderful to stare into her eyes and interact with her. I can tell that she knows her family’s voices already.
She sleeps great, usually nodding off 30-45 minutes after eating (but sometimes staying awake to just after her next feeding). I like to put her down while she’s still awake for at least one nap per day and at night (more on my sleep philosophies later). She does a great job conking herself out. I’ve been able to shower every day (that’s a big deal!) and even dry my hair and dress myself because of her ability to sleep (plus Mr. Handsome is all over holding her all the time).
She makes the best little faces, she smells fantastic (even her poop smells good! Really!), she seems to be trying to lift her head already (tummy time starts as soon as the cord stump falls off!), her skin is so soft, her eyes are so deep and intense, her toes and fingers are so long like her brother’s and her little nose is adorable. I’m so in love.
Life in general is on hold as I recover and we adjust. It’s wonderful having no outside-the-house responsibilities. My parents have been here since Wednesday afternoon. My dad is busy building a desk for/with Kiddo1 (he cut the pieces back in Phoenix and they put it together; they finished last night). My mom has been cooking and baking. All in all they’ve been great to have around. They leave tomorrow morning and Mr. Handsome’s parents and two older brothers arrive Tuesday afternoon. Lots of visitors in the house!
Kiddo1 is handling all of this very well. The kid has basically had his only-child life turned upside down: Dad is distracted with visitors and my requests (even though I try not to bother him, sometimes I just can’t get up from a feeding!), Mom is just straight-up different (I can’t go out much, I can’t walk far, I’m always breastfeeding), other people are constantly in our house and there’s a baby who everyone says looks just like him but he doesn’t see it.
He’s also been cooped up in the house ever since we got home on Thursday, which doesn’t help. He’s gotten out with one of my parents at least once a day, but it isn’t the family outings that he’s used to. We can’t have kids over for playdates like normal just yet either.
Since he’s got some extra energy he’s been a tad more sensitive, a little more short with his responses and a bit less responsive in general. He spends his time reading, playing video games, watching TV and occasionally helping my mom cook/bake or my dad build a desk for him.
Despite these things, he’s doing amazing. For the last couple nights, I’ve made a point to put Baby2 to bed around 8 so he and I can read together before he goes to bed. I try to sit with him and talk for a minute after tucking him in. He’s a fantastic child – so interested in big things right now like ships, planes, movies and books. He loves to bend someone’s ear about these things. I’ve tried to give him my full attention whenever he talks, but I admit I’ve had to dismiss him once or twice and it kind of breaks my heart to do so.
We’ve been talking about when he can expect things to return to normal, when the visitors will trail off and when he can have friends over again. I know he’ll pull through this transition time with flying colors.
Mr. Handsome is my freaking hero. He has dealt with everyone in the house tugging at him from every direction. My dad needs tools and miscellaneous items for the desk he’s building (they couldn’t bring his whole shop from Phoenix with them!) so Mr. Handsome tracks things down from neighbors. My mom needs to find stuff in the kitchen so he helps her and lets her talk to him about all kinds of stuff. Kiddo1 tells him everything, all day long, and he dutifully listens and tries to play with him as much as he can. Max bothers him to go outside, go to the park and toss the ball, plus he has been barking a lot more and Mr. Handsome meets most of his demands but always without complaint. I have tried to limit my own demands on him as much as possible but, like I said, sometimes I just can’t get up in the middle of a feeding. I don’t know how he’s handling all this, but he gets it done.
We don’t get a lot of alone time right now, which super sucks. I love talking to my husband, even if it’s about boring, day-to-day stuff. I don’t know if he’s noticed, but I’ve been trying to sneak in some time with him when he takes Max out back or to sit with him when he’s holding Baby2. Soon we will have time together again. In the meantime I just hope he’s staying sane with everyone’s constant demands!
Max (our dog) has been a joy to watch adjust. On Thursday when we brought Baby2 home, I think Max was a little scared of her. He didn’t get too close to her and wouldn’t turn his back on her. Thursday night, though, she made some little coo noises while in her crib and he shot up in bed and booked it over to her to check things out. He slept in front of her crib. From then on out he’s been very curious about her and gives her lots of sniffs. He’s sensitive to her noises and will come right over to check her out.
He’s obviously jealous of her when Mr. Handsome holds her, though. He rushes right over to Mr. Handsome and tries to distract him. I find this amusing but I believe Mr. Handsome is getting a little annoyed.
Max has been barking a bit more and displaying other protective behaviors, but he is very gentle with Baby2 and has even given her a few little kisses! My camera isn’t quite fast enough to get a clear shot though.
As for me, there are only two words to describe my current mental state: baby drunk. My mind is in a happy fog in which I don’t feel too forgetful or “dumbed down” (for lack of a better phrase) but I do feel a little tipsy, if you will. I’m pretty much super happy in general!
Today has been the first day that I’ve felt annoyed that I can’t do much yet. We ventured out to the neighborhood breakfast joint, a short four block walk away. Baby2 was snug in the wrap which was awesome – I can’t wait to start writing about our no stroller experiment! But even after four blocks there, a whole lot of sitting and four blocks back, I was spent when we got home. My body let me know that I needed to rest now. Luckily my parents had an outing planned with Kiddo1 so I took Baby2 to bed for her feeding and relaxed all afternoon.
Otherwise, I’ve been pretty good physically. Sure, things are sore “down there,” but not “sit on an inflatable donut” sore, so that’s nice. We started taking an evening walk around the block on Friday night. After Saturday’s walk I vowed to walk two blocks tonight, although after this morning I might stick to just one block again. No need to push it. I’m just happy to get out of the house for a bit and Baby2 seems to love the fresh air.
Here are the gross parts of my postpartum period, so skip this paragraph if you’re queasy. My lifesavers for healing “down there” have been Earth Mama Angel Baby’s New Mama Bottom Spray and, what some like to call Peri Pops (pads doused with witch hazel and frozen – freaking heaven). I had used both every time I peed up until today, now I just use them when needed. I’m trying to wean myself. I’m also trying to cut back on the ibuprofen; I’m taking two or three doses a day, down from four or five 800 mg doses. I was super nervous about pooping for the first time because after my first pregnancy/delivery (with a third degree tear) pooping hurt more than anything ever had in my whole life. I had to scream and hold on to Mr. Handsome while I pooped. I shit you not (ha!). This time I started to get nervous because I hadn’t gone since Wednesday morning. But I finally pooped this morning and it went so well and I was so happy about it that I told Mr. Handsome! He was happy for me. One more gross thing, we took the placenta home and had it encapsulated. I’ve been taking placenta pills and I just drank some placenta tea since last night. Whoa. Too early to tell if it is having an impact, but the whole process was interesting to watch!
Enough gross stuff. And, I think, enough in general. That was quite a brain dump there (that I wrote over a few days) so I think I’ll go rest with my sleeping husband and baby. Yay!!