Monday, October 10, 2011

Bringing Home Baby

This post is brought to you by my left hand, as my right hand is currently cradling the sweetest little lump of baby girlness you've ever seen.  I love that I can hold all of her with just one hand.  And if I angle my back just right, she can perfectly rest on my chest with no hands.  Which means I can get loads of things done ... as long as they don't require moving at the torso.

Photo Credit: Uncle Micah
But I'm not complaining.  This phase is so short-lived, so fleeting.  I want to soak up every bit of snuggly, sleepy, brand new baby-ism she has to offer.  And since she's already gained 11 ounces this week and is stretching out her newborn clothes, it doesn't appear that this one-handed chest-snoozing is going to last very much longer.

Five hours old and happy as a lark!
But back to where I left off, exactly one week ago today.  We got home a little after 5:30am and made sure we made enough noise coming in the house to "accidentally" wake up Marmie and Poppa.  Jon was exhausted and ready for a nap.  But after a long night of labor I was ready for some breakfast.  So I chowed down some oatmeal while Julia got passed around and Jon shared his version of the birth story, which continues to get more and more funny as the days go by.

Poor Jon, it was a rough night!
I think my favorite aspect of using a birth center is that you are allowed to leave so soon.  I know many mamas like to stay in the hospital and relax, but I'm just not one of them.  I hated staying in the hospital when I had my two boys.  Being able to spend our first night as a family of five in our own beds was so wonderful!  Nobody is waking me up every few hours and push on my gut, or check my blood pressure, or give me a cup of pills.  And the meals that Marmie has been cooking up in the kitchen are ten times better than any "celebration" meal the hospital serves.

Jon and I just got up from our nap.  This photo describes Jude's sentiments exactly (but more on that later).
Of course, being home so soon has its disadvantages too.  I couldn't figure out why I was so much more tired and uncomfortable this time around than in the past.  But then I would remember that I was still laying in a hospital bed at this point, with no little boys begging to be carried, no laundry baskets that I would forget I shouldn't be carrying, no steps to climb up and down.

Bright-eyed and busy-tailed.
The first few days were a little rough.  What they say about the after-pains is true: it definitely gets much worse with each baby.  The two days following Julia's birth felt very much like labor.  And with each "contraction" I'd get an intense pain in my hip that made it almost impossible to stand.  But by Day 3 things were much, much better.  And now a week later I feel almost completely normal, except for that whole just-got-punched-in-the-gut feeling.  But that is getting better too.

Photo Credit: Uncle Micah
A few hours after we got home we had to take Julia to a pediatrician.  Because I had tested positive for Group B Strep prior to delivery, and because there wasn't any time to give me antibiotics before she was born, Julia was at risk for contracting GBS as well.  The pediatrician wanted to take a blood sample to test for Strep, but after a horrific experience in which I ended up crying in the hall while Jon took over with the baby ... we decided to forego the blood draw and just watch for respiratory distress over the next few weeks.  It has me just a little nervous.  The chances of her actually having GBS are quite low, but enough to have me worrying over every little sigh, breath and long span of quiet from our tiny sweetie.  When she's not sleeping on my chest she's in her bassinet, an arm's length away.  And I spend a good portion of the night with my hand on her chest just to make sure she's breathing.  Perhaps I'm a little paranoid.

Unfortunately, the three kids and I all caught colds this week.  Actually, Jack ended up with croup on Wednesday night and had to be taken to the emergency room.  It was a little scary.  It was 10pm, I was nursing the baby, Marmie was holding a scared-awake-and-crying Jude and Jon was trying to calm a panicking Jack who woke up with a cough that quickly progressed to wheezing.  Soon he was having trouble getting his breath.  Two and a half hours, a breathing treatment and some steroids later he was home and we all were in bed.  But neither Jon nor I slept well that night.  Thankfully, Jude and Julia only have colds and we haven't had any more of this croup stuff in the house.  Poor Baby Girl though, less than a week old and already dealing with a snotty nose. And so in addition to listening for her every breath all night, Jon and I also got to spend an entire evening sucking out her teeny, tiny nostrils and checking on her every cough and sneeze.

Photo Credit: Uncle Micah
Other than the cold and GBS she's just perfect.  She's my best nurser and best burper so far.  And while she started out more like a Jack than a Jude when it comes to night-time sleep, things are progressively getting better.  For the first few days Julia would only sleep if she was being held or nursed ... which meant some long nights for me and a sore back, neck, shoulders, arms, etc. for a few days.  But she's spent the past two nights sleeping soundly in her bassinet.  And while she is often up to eat every 2-3 hours, she's a fairly efficient eater.  Now if only my body could start regulating its temperature better and put an end to these crazy hot flashes, I (and my poor hubby) might start getting better sleep too!

So we are one week into this whole family of 5 thing and it's going really well... but we've also had lots of help.  I'm trying not to think about the fact that there are currently 4 (sometimes 5) adults doing what I will have to do by myself in a few days.  For now, I'm just enjoying the extra help and trying to take it easy.  We've been having loads of fun too though, taking full advantage of maternity and paternity leave.  But I'll save those stories and pictures for another time, when I get at least one hand free again.

1 comment:

Charity Mack said...

She is beautiful! Well done on birthing AND delivering your own kid; you've always been the amazing efficient type! Impressed as always.
May God give you crazy mama energy and strength with three littles!


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