Monday, May 20, 2013

3 Weeks In

It has been 3 weeks since Sweet Pea was born, and man has a lot happened in that time. I don't even know where to begin. First of all, I have been blessed with a seriously wonderful baby. She is so chill I can hardly believe it (knock on wood). I really hope she stays this way because as of right now, I don't think word "fussy" is in her vocabulary. *PLEASE STAY THAT WAY!*

Sleep deprivation has been as brutal as I remembered, but at least this time I am making serious efforts to sleep when I can. Not many people know this, but I suffered from PPD after the birth of Little Bean. It all started with the sleep deprivation, and then an unexplainable refusal to sleep that spiraled into PPD. I know that most of time when I cry these days it is more a result of sleep deprivation than baby blues. I just do not do well on small amounts of sleep, so only getting in 2-hour stretches when I'm lucky is really hard on me. The good news in that department is Sweet Pea has finally regained her birth weight, and we've had two nights with 4-hour stretches between feedings (including last night)! Hoorah!

As for feeding, well, breast feeding kicked my trash and I am officially out. All last week I was constantly battling clogged ducts. They were pure torture and I couldn't work them out myself. I had to have Hubs keep helping me get them out. As soon as we'd conquer one, I'd get another. It was non-stop for days until I finally begged Hubs to let me throw in the towel. I tried. I gave it my all. I bought a different pump, I rented a pump, I was constantly on the phone with my lactation consultant, but in the end, I lost. It took 36 hours, 8 heads of cabbage, and a tube of Cabo Cream to get me over the engorgement hump. It was an extremely unpleasant 36 hours. Luckily I have Hubs who is seriously amazing and supportive to help me get through it. He took over all of the feedings the first night, which was really sweet because it was a Thursday night and he had to work the next day. I wish I could say it is all done, but I have a few ducts that still refuse to give up. At least I can hold my baby to me without being in pain now.

I don't even know where to start when it comes to Hubs. He has been beyond this world incredible. I can't believe how much he has taken over and never once made a deal about it. He has taken on everything with such grace and love. There is no question in my mind that this man loves me and loves me dearly. Luckily his employer thinks as highly of him as I do, so they have let him work from home to help me out since the baby was born. So in addition to working his 40+ hours a week, he takes care of Little Bean almost 100%, he takes care of me as much as I need him to, and he helps out with the baby as much as I need him to. On top of that, he takes care of all of the other things that come up around the house. I don't know how he does it, and I can't believe how graciously he handles it. I feel like there is nothing I can do to show how much I appreciate everything he has taken on. Everything seems so small in comparison. The man definitely owns the title of Super Man. I am so incredibly blessed, and I know it. Most men wouldn't do half the stuff he has been, and most of the ones who would, would complain about it, but not my man.

Little Bean did well with everything for the first little while, but the last couple of days she has really been acting out. She's been doing all kinds of things she knows she isn't supposed to do, and some of them seem downright blatant. She loves the baby, there is no question, but she has taken advantage of the fact that I am spending so much time taking care of the baby and myself, and that Hubs is operating above capacity for a normal human being. I am honestly surprised our gerbils are still in their cage with as often as she's had their door open and been playing in their cage. Her acting out makes me feel like a horrible mother because we are constantly getting after her for one thing after another. All she wants is a little more attention. I sat with her at bedtime last night and just cried. I know it will get better, but man this is hard!

When Little Bean was born, I lamented the passing of every day. I hated how time was slipping through my fingers, which is part of the reason I refused to sleep. This time, I am glad for the passing of each day because it means we are closer to getting through the difficult parts of having a newborn, and closer to being able to fully enjoy my family while not being sleep deprived. Don't get me wrong, I love having my newborn, especially since we are done having babies. I just need to get to a point where I feel like I have my feet under me again. Thank heaven I have such an amazing husband to help me get there.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Birth of a Miracle

Exactly one week ago today I gave birth to our second miracle. Because I was high risk, we had to deliver Sweet Pea at 37 weeks to prevent contractions. By the time the day rolled around, I was more than ready to be done with pregnancy and to finally hold my little miracle in my arms, the baby we had fought so hard and long for, and that I had been through so much to bring into this world.

My c-section was scheduled for 7:30 in the morning, so we had to be to the hospital by 6:00. I don't really remember what time they rolled me down to the OR, but I cried. I always cry when I'm being wheeled down to any surgery. I cried the whole time they were putting in my spinal, and I cried for sometime afterward. I think they started before Hubs was even in the room, or at least it felt like it. It seemed like it took forever before they actually get in there and got the baby. It felt like forever before I heard the sounds of them suctioning up amniotic fluid.

The first time I heard Sweet Pea cry, I just sobbed. I could not believe she was finally here. Here, safe and sound, pink and crying. Beautiful. Perfect. Wanted more than anything.

They held her up over the curtain for me to see, and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.
She came in at 6 lbs 11 oz and 19.25" long.

The baby was taken off to the nursery for her first bath with daddy in tow while I was cleaned up and sewn back together. I spent a bit of time in Labor and Delivery before being wheeled to my room to hold my sweet baby.

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur. I tried to sleep while Hubs worked and I waited for the spinal to wear off.

Sometime around 5:00, Hubs went home to get my parents and Little Bean. I had been waiting for months to introduce Little Bean to her sister, and the moment had finally arrived. She was so excited, and the moment could not have been more perfect. She fell in love instantly.
Little Bean was excited to come to the hospital every day to see the baby. She still hasn't grasped the concept of a newborn and the fact that they don't giggle when tickled, smile when you say "boo", or play with a toy set of keys, but she sure does love her little sister. She tells me every day how cute Sweet Pea is and that she loves her.
The best was when my mom was holding the baby in the hospital and Sweet Pea let out a little cry. Little Bean told grandma to be careful because Sweet Pea was her baby, not grandma's. I think these two will be very close as the years go on, just as I had hoped. If Little Bean is this excited about her sister now, just wait until the baby can play and giggle.

The past week has been easier to handle than the first couple with Little Bean. This time I knew what to expect and how to combat the baby blues. In addition, and as always, Hubs has been amazing. I cannot imagine trying to do this without such a supportive, loving partner. It is because of him that I am adjusting so well and tolerating sleep in 2-hour stretches. I hope and pray it continues this way, but I also know there will be days that are rougher than others, like the ones where Hubs will have to go into work and I'll be on my own all day. But I am thankful for the days he is here with me.

I am trying to breastfeed again, and just like last time, it is my Achilles heel. I swear I can do anything in this world except for that. At just 5 days old I had to go to pumping. I would like to get back to breastfeeding soon, and I have an awesome lactation consultant, much better than the one I had with Little Bean. I know she can help get me through this and get back to nursing my baby and not milking myself every 3 hours.

Recovery from the c-section is exactly as I expected, a cake-walk. Luckily I have a high pain tolerance for surgery and always recover quickly and easily.

The best part of recovery so far is that I am already only 4.5 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight! I only gained 17 during the pregnancy, so I knew I would come out ahead after I delivered. I don't remember the last time my legs were so tiny. I am rather relieved that unlike last time, I won't have that pesky 10 lbs hanging around months after the baby is born.

Tonight, I am a very happy mother of two. My family is finally complete, and my journey through infertility is done. A 7-year battle is finally over. All that is left now is to enjoy my little miracle babies with the most incredible husband and loving father in the world.  I am truly blessed, and I thank God every day for my family.