March 21, 2009

First Week with Baby

baby-n-brother_sm

What a difference 4 hours of sleep in a row made last night. Gave me time to come in here and start a draft. Don't expect a polished post out of me for quite some time... but if you're in the mood for talk about feeding troubles, postpartum depression, breast pumps, baby gear, jaundice or reflux - I'm your girl.

The purpose of this post is mainly to let you all know I'm alive... and to enlist you to pray if you take pity on me. I'm sure most of you mamas out there remember what it is like when life goes on as normal for most people and you are caught in an endless schedule of baby feedings and self care. The visitors are wonderful, but when they all leave, you tend to get a little melancholy wondering if you'll be able to bounce back to your normal speed again. Things are overwhelming that used to get done with ease. It doesn't help that usually you are still physically healing and hormonally unstable.

A few of you sweet friends who have left me such wonderful prayers, thoughts, and encouragement in my comments section and elsewhere online have asked for a labor story... so I'll just give you a little recap of the past few days (which will explain why there's been no time for blogging):

You all knew that I was HUGE pregnant just days ago. Well, the doctor didn't really want to induce me two weeks early, but she knew how awful I was feeling and allowed me to make the choice of an early induction. She thought little Kohen would be 8 lbs. and 1 oz. - and boy was she wrong! I'm so glad that I listened to my body (that had been contracting for weeks) and chose to get it over with early. Thankfully, everything turned out well (although nothing went as planned).

Monday night the 16th... couldn't hardly sleep, watched a movie with Kevin before bed, worried and contracted through the night

Tuesday the 17th... up at 4am, last minute items loaded in to the car, check in at the hospital before 6am, start Pitosin drip at 7:30am, stay 2.5 cm for half of the day, get epidural at 2:30pm - 3 sticks and hurt like the dickens, progress to 3.5 cm until nearly 9pm, doctor accidentally pops my water during a check at 9ish... baby drops and engages and full labor begins (just in time for the epidural to wear off). I resume the rest of labor with a sleepy medicine head feeling and excruciating pain - including the birth of my 9lb. 4oz. baby who conveniently came out with his arm aside his head (I'm sure he did this just so I could top everyone else's labor stories... at least he wasn't "sideways"). He arrives just in time to be a St. Patrick's baby at 11:13PM.

Wednesday the 18th... baby and I were well cared for by great nurses, daddy, and grandma while we tried to get some rest. Unfortunately, there's no resting in the hospital for women who deliver large babies. Heel pricks for blood sugar come at hourly intervals... along with all the other "visitors" that the hospital sends your way (spaced out so that you can't get more than a 30 minute catnap on either end of them).

Thursday the 19th... by now I have no idea what day it is. I just know they are about to send me home with an infant after not sleeping for more than five hours in three days. I finally get a shower and beg the nurse for more ice packs. Everything is loaded up for home and we head out. Catnaps help some. Grandma Chickie stays up five hours rocking Kohen so I can sleep. Unfortunately I end up waking every hour worried about him.

Friday the 20th... still no milk. Kohen beginning to dehydrate some, slight jaundice, we go buy a pump and start supplementing formula. I'm exhausted. Friends from church bring us dinner. I sleep through dinner since it falls between a feeding. Kids are ruined from video games by now. Mom meets my cousin for herbal supplements for breast-milk production. Hot showers don't work. At least the formula gives me a five hour stretch of sleep during the night.

Today, the 21st, Saturday... the pump provides evidence that milk is slowly coming in. Now that the milk is arriving, baby prefers the bottle. Feedings are a nightmare for both of us. We take the baby to the pediatrician to be checked for jaundice. He sets up a blood test for Sunday. Daddy gets me a cheeseburger and the kids and Chickie clean the whole house while we are out as a nice surprise. Grandma Betty stops in for a visit. Chickie leaves to go home. I spend my first night without an extra helper. Daddy gets woke up at 3AM for diaper duty. Both of us look like those "mall people" you see pushing a newborn in a stroller that we always chuckle at... remembering the days when ours were tiny. We're too old for this extreme lack of sleep.

And then of course, you look at the little critter you are caring for... those sweet cheeks... tiny fingers... shiny eyes... sleepy facial expressions... soft skin and precious little baby noises... and all the physical strain ebbs away - leaving you with just one wish - to kiss that tiny boy and rub his fuzzy head against your cheek. How blessed we are. How BUSY we are.

So no matter how long it takes me to become a 'regular' blogger again... it's all worth it. The routine must be adjusted so that normal life can once again take place. And that takes time and patience - and a few tears here and there. Whatever normal will look like after we find a 'New Groove' is a mystery. We're very thankful to have our little guy as part of the family, though. We are just working some postpartum kinks out.

Well, it's 4:44 AM on Sunday. I better catch a 2 hour nap before the next feeding. Pray that breastfeeding becomes the norm and formula is on the out! I haven't given up yet...


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28 comments:

Judy said...

I will be praying for you. Sounds like a busy time. You forget what it's like, especially when there is a large span between kids.
He is adorable.

Leslie said...

I'll keep it short and sweet. He is precious, and I will continue to pray for you... that you get some sleep and that you heal and get your strength back and for everyone's health!
oooooh he is soooo cute!!!!
Leslie
LeslieVeg@msn.com
http://leslielovesveggies.blogspot.com/

saradickens said...

*HUG*
So glad there is milk now. We've been holding a lactation vigil over here. ;)
Things will get better. In the meantime hang in there and know we're all thinking of you.
And if I'm reading this post correctly, you gave birth to your 9 pounder without the help of the epidural?
I need to y'all's direction with some food and kisses.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your beautiful new baby boy! I can totally relate to what you are going through. My 3rd weighed 11.8 and came out with him arm to his head. I had him at home so I did it without pain meds too. Hang in there, it gets better! I am praying for you.

Jamin
homeschoolblogger.com/jaminacema

Brandie said...

Oh what a sweet precious lil one!
Blessings.
I love your blog BTW :)

Traci Best said...

Still praying Heather! I'd give just about anything to be there and help you! It's only about...oh...a 23 hour drive from here! LOL. (I'll do it in a minute if you say the word!) My older brother used to live in Dallas when I was little. (He married young, and there are eleven years between us.) I remember those roads quite well.

Just remember Dory's poignant words...
"Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!" ;)

JodyJ said...

I've found that at around the 6 week mark you start feeling 'normal'again, at least the new normal. Hang in there and take advantage of the help you have!! I am about to give birth to my third one in a few weeks, it's been 5 years since I've done this also so I am nervous-but we shall prevail!!!!
You baby is delicious and I LOVE his name.. Kohen, too cute!

Anonymous said...

That cute little roly poly looks like his Aunt Amber - good looking kid! He's beautiful! Be looking in the mail for goodies - you popped before I finished my homemade creations :)

dianne - bunny trails said...

Still praying for you all. He's adorable, of course! Glad he's on the outside now. Probably not as glad as you are, though. :D

love ya'!
dianne

Sherry said...

Oh, man, that arm up side the head is a killer! My last one did that--& he was 10 lbs., 15 oz. Made me scared to have another one, but he turned out to be the last.

Great pic, btw. He looks fine & healthy. Definitely a snuggle bunny. Blessings strength & health to you all.

Nikowa@KHA said...

Praying for you & your blessings :)

Heather S. said...

Glad everything went well and Kohen is here and healthy!! My little one is 9 weeks and I have felt "normal" for about 2 of them. She is sleeping about 6-7 hours at night. It will come soon!!

lori said...

I remember it well girlfriend...and I'll keep praying for a "new groove..." which you'll find in time...enjoy these crazy days, they are over all to quickly and I say that with a twinge of jealousy..not at your lack of sleep, but that you get to experience ALL of it again...it's a gift!

Hugs to you..and he really is adorable!!
hang in there!
lori

Helena said...

Hugs, congrats. I'll pray for you and your family. It does get better. Take care.

Beverly said...

Aw, Heather - he is sooooo beautiful!!! I love that sweet little face! I'm so sorry things are so rough right now. It is miserable, I know. Ethan went through the whole nursing problem, jaundice, dehydration stuff, too. It took awhile, but we finally got the hang of it! And now he's a happy, healthy 5 year old. Things are going to smooth out for you sooner than you think. In the meantime, I'm praying for you all. I ♥ u, sweetie!

Julo said...

Get thee to a lactation consultant immediately!

Mine literally saved us! She was worth every penny and I was able to nurse for 13 months. Seriously. Such a great resource.

Beautiful baby boy!!!!

Megan said...

Don't know if you are still having trouble - we had serious trouble getting a couple of babies to nurse. I ended up feeding them from an eye dropper - just what was absolutely necessary - and everything else they wanted they had to work for by nursing.

Took many days. Finally got it.

Completely draining and exhausting.

Hope you all get through this time!

Sprittibee said...

That photo deserves credit - my daughter Morgan actually is the photographer on it. She has a great eye. :)

Sprittibee said...

I can't tell you what it means to me to read all your comments and advice! Thank you all so much for leaving them. It is hard to type with one hand - the only time I have on the pc is pump-time. LOL Eventually I'll get around to normal computer use again, right??? Or does that happen after the toddler years end???

Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home said...

Oh, my goodness, what a precious, precious little face. I can smell him across the miles.

I'm praying for you, sister. Sorry I wasn't able to guest post or check in much lately. We sold our church building Friday and have been at a 3-day meeting this weekend. Next week is our last Sunday in the building we've been in forever, and then we move to an interim facility while we build. Good news: our drive will cut in HALF!

Take it easy and don't stress about school. Sometimes the most valuable lesson you can give the other kids is that taking care of baby comes first. :-)

Anonymous said...

That little face, makes me ready for another one!

Take care,
Amy
www.crumbsonmyfloor.com

Anonymous said...

I just had my third after 10 years, too( he came out with his hand on his face). He is 7 weeks old. The first 3 weeks are hard, then it gets easier each week. Work on getting him to be awake after feeding so he'll sleep better at night. Praying for you.

Christy

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Heavenly Father...

Thank you for this son, Kohen. GIFT!
Thank you for every moment of sleep for Heather...
Thank you for helpers, for willing, helping children, for a kind and caring husband...
Thank you for carrying when there is just no strength to go on...
Thank you, Lord, for these hallowed days... the wonder of LIFE!
For all this joy we couldn't wait to hold... help us when we're too weary to hang on...

Thank you, Father, for blessing Heather... please, Lord, we thank you for sustaining her through these days of newborn when we feel vulnerable, and unsure and, yes, at times, scared.

We lean back into you...
Thank you, Jesus...

How I send love, Heather...
And will continue to pray, deat friend...

Oh, KISS THAT KOHEN MAN for me!

chickadee@afamiliarpath said...

it's still hard and mine is 3 months now. but it's better.

Jennifer said...

Wow..I could just kiss your baby's face off he's so cute! I haven't read your blog in probably a year so it was good to catch up on a few posts. You don't know me and I don't think I've ever left a comment but I just wanted to send a word of encouragment your way on the breast feeding. Keep with it, girl...he'll learn to want it over the bottle and you'll be happy in the long run. My Kate is going on 9 months and is a complete Momma's baby (I think because I'm still nursing) but knowing she's the last makes those nursing moments so special....enjoy and blessings to your family.

Shannon said...

He is a beautiful miracle.
Praying that you get rest, that feeding will get easier, and that the postpartum blues will ease. It will get easier!
So glad you're enjoying your gift fresh from Heaven...
Blessings,
Shannon

Blessedw5mom said...

Oh he is sooo soooo so beautiful!
I'll pray for rest and routine and all that babydom brings

MoDLin said...

Oh, he is so beautiful! I hope the milk is flowing nicely now because the blessings surely are. Wishing you all the best.

 

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