Next up: Postpartum Happenings :)
(I forgot to say that we asked about the stitches. I’d never had any before and kinda wanted a number so that if anyone ever asked i could say, “I got 87 stitches in my hoohah,” BUT he said the tear was 2nd degree (there are 3 degrees) and that it was tricky to say because it was one long stitch. He pinched his fingers to about two inches apart though. That’s how long the tear was.)
A couple hours after labor, we moved from the L&D room to the postpartum room. Morrison aka “Cole, Girl” went to the nursery. Later they brought her in the room with these bracelets. She had bracelets on both her ankles with a number. Jim and I got matching bracelets with the same number. Every time we picked her up from the nursery or they brought her to us, they’d check our codes to make sure we matched. If that wasn’t enough security, Morrison had an alarm (like the one’s they put on Seven Jeans at Belk) attached to her remaining umbilical cord. During our stay we actually saw the alarm go off at the nurses station. Turns out that a doctor had an alarm in his pocket and happened to walk off the hall. The nurses were on it quick like a bunny. It made us feel really secure.
Although I was walking around, it was more waddly than ever. Everything swells and your pad is one of those super thick overnights and every time you walk its like your insides pound down onto everything that’s sore. But walking still happens. And I was grateful. I don’t like the loss of control.
During my stay I met with a bunch of lactation consultants. Breastfeeding was my choice method of nutrition and we did an okay job on the right side, but the nipple’s a little bit different on the left so we had to do what’s called “Holding your boob like it’s a cheeseburger” which means you just have to squish it a little. They made me feed her while they watched a lot. After feeding I was supposed to express a little milk and rub my nipples with it (watch out porno!) because that’s “all the nipple care you need.” I can tell you now that that is untrue. So at the nursery where the babies are kept, they wrap the babies up really tightly in a blanket. We call it the burrito. Technically it’s swaddling. Jim’s a great burrito-er. Not me though. No worries. It makes me nervous that they don’t get their arms anyway and Mo, who’s strong enough to roll already, needs her little hands out to make me feel better. At night in our room, I was thinking that Mo would stay in the nursery and I would get some rest. Like having top notch babysitters who stay awake all night. No such luck. I woke up at 1am when they brought her in for me to feed her. Then again an hour or so later, and then again. Jim slept like a baby. (for the record, when they say “like a baby” i think they really mean “like a baby who sleeps through the night” because otherwise mine’s broken. lol
They were very concerned that I pee. I had heard before that they want you to fart before you go, but apparently that’s c-section. Peeing felt like the water breaking. I had a bottle to squirt water on myself to clean/dilute pee/initiate pee. Once i did it, I had to go tell the nurse. I was excited, sure, but she also asked that I tell her when I did it. Then I made the call to go poop on my own. I figure - with something that seems so scary and IS scary to think about doing - it’s safest to have an emergency at the hospital. So i pooped twice while we were there. I told you I was a good pooper. Jim and I high-fived it, i think. lol
Not really a lot happened as far as much more progress while we were there. Every time I got a new nurse she’d take my temp and bp, check my “bottom” (that’s what they called it) and bleeding (which was still bruised (it’s still bruised today - ouch!) and the bleeding is fine) and feel my fundus (where the top of my uterus was). By the second day, the top of my uterus was out of my boobs and and under my belly button. THAT’s how fast it goes down. When we changed (we = me and one of my nurses) the first pad she said “See? Like a heavy period,” to which I replied, “Who’s heavy period is that?!” But it gets less and less each time. We declined the “New Parent brunch” because we were aching to get OUT of the hospital. On the first on our second night i think, an emergency call came to the nurse’s station while Jim was at the nursery to get Mo. It was a woman who was at 24 weeks and was being brought via ambulance from her ob’s office. Later we saw that one of the delivery room doors was shut and there was a rose taped to it. That’s the signal for “the baby didn’t survive.” Jim was instantly wrecked by this and experienced what professional’s call “survivor guilt.” He, and rightly so, felt sad because we had so much wonderfulness going on. We didn’t have a c-section so I was mobile. The lady in the postpartum room next to us was in a wheel chair with tubes everywhere and had to keep buzzing the nurses to help her move. We were lucky. Our baby only had a bruised head and that’s it. Other babies had wires and patches and monitors and heat lamps. We were lucky. It’s hard to confront the amount of sadness that concurrently exists while we were so happy. So we felt guilty and it was really tugging on Jim’s spirit. We wanted to go home where it wasn’t so sad. So we opted not to go to the lunch. The hospital seemed offended by this and actually accused of trying to leave before meeting with the lactation consultant one last time. Really, we were wheeling that angel back to the nursery so we could go smoke (and I could score more chocolate pudding!) I still got asked when I was due a few times while walking around lol. Then when we thought we were done, they made us wait longer because I had to be seen by my ob to be discharged. FINALLY we finished and carted all the stuff to the car and passed the carseat challenge where they check to see how much you screwed up when trying to harness your little one for safety. We did a pretty good job. And THEN we went home!
When we got home, we saw that Gramma steve had decorated for Morrison’s arrival. It was killer cute with balloons and a banner and carriages and bibs and the whole lot.
Since we’ve been home I’ve cried three times. lol.
1: 1st night home - Putting morrison in her crib in her room which is not the same room as the living room where i was. We’ve got Cab’s video monitor so we can SEE her, but it wasn’t the same. I know that my presence is not what keeps her alive. I also know, it couldn’t hurt. Either way I was scared. And i cried. And told babe and he let me keep her in the play pen in the living room. He’s really good about me being sad.
2: 2nd night home - Jim let me sleep in.
3: 3rd night home - Breastfeeding. I was getting SO frustrated trying to feed her because she’d suck for less than a minute and and then go to sleep. She stopped going for 10-15 minutes per breast at one sitting. I didn’t like being frustrated because I didn’t feel like I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do, but that SHE wasn’t doing what SHE was supposed to do. You should always try NOT to be mad at the baby. So we decided that I’d just pump instead. And that’s what I was doing. But then, she started wanting more milk than I was able to make. So now we’re supplementing with formula. We’re doing half formula, half breastmilk. She’s taking it pretty well and i’m almost caught up to make two bottles of half and half from one pumping session. Oh, btw: breastfeeding feels just like having your nipple sucked on. lol. It doesn’t feel sexual though. It sometimes (depending on the latch) hurts and sometimes not. You do get a sense of euphoria with it after a while though. You kind of feel loopy and sleepy. I suppressed the giggles more than once. lol Pumping, however, is not as pleasant. It’s harder to get milk out with the pump alone. Sometimes, if I can get her to feed even for a few seconds on just one breast, both will start leaking and make it easier to pump. Sympathy milk. That was another part of the frustration with feed her. While i was sitting there, boobs out, trying to get her to suck “vigorously” (they call it) for more than just a second, everything would start leaking all over everything. On her face, in her eye, on my clothes, on our chairs, everywhere. It’s difficult not to get frustrated when that happens. At least for me. Plus, in the middle of the night, everything is harder. It’s quiet. It’s dark. It’s lonely. Night is very scary and I had started (in only that short time being home) getting very anxious about the sun going down. Very anxious.
I’m a good pooper, but i’m a terrible sleeper. I had RLS before pregnancy. It increased during pregnancy, and it still exists. Sometimes, I can feel it coming on before i’m even laying down. Before I’ve even gone to bed. I’m still watching tv and then there it is. Also, it always takes me like 30 minutes or so to go to sleep. So you figure: You’ve got a baby who wakes up every 2 hours to eat. If she gets up at 2am, you take some time to figure out what she’s woken up for (diaper, food, comfort, cold - it’s cold in our house because we have bad windows - belly ache, whatever). Usually, I start with food. So factor in the feeding. You have to heat up the bottle, NEVER in the microwave, and get it all set up. Then you start feeding, maybe at 2:15. Between the bottle and burping you figure you can be done around 2:45 or 3am. Then you lay her down and she sleeps and you wash the bottles (for a while we only had one good slow flow nipple) and set up the next bottle. Then you lay down and it takes 30 minutes or more to go to sleep. By the time you can consider sleep she’s up again because it’s been two hours. The time of sleep you get is based on when the feeding STARTS, not when it ends. You can see how this might get old for me really fast. And you can see why I cried out of happiness and amazement when I woke up on my very own. Since we’ve switched to me pumping pretty exclusively (which they tell you not to do: They tell you to wait until after 2 weeks to 1 month, but sanity is very important to me. So is not shaking a baby.) i’m a lot less stressed. Since we’ve started supplementing with formula she can sometimes go 3-4 hours between feedings. Sometimes it’s still at 2 hours, but last night she let me sleep from 1-4am. Those are critical hours. I get about 3 hours total at night and about 2-4 during a nap in the day (when it’s not my shift!)
From here on out, these posts will be more like the regular TMI’s, maybe week by week?
Oh, and hear this: If you’re concerned about the smoking. The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the risks of my smoking. And we don’t smoke in the house, so the SIDS risk is reduced. I’m a SIDS freak - I’ve been to conferences, which is why I worry about her being cold. She’s only allowed blankets during the day while someone’s on watch. NEVER at night. We’ve got her wearing t-shirts and socks under microfleece onesies while we wait for our halo sleepsack to arrive in the mail :) And the socks don’t stay on. lol