My little one was due today, so it only seems fit that I try to catch up on the first 12 days of her life while she naps. 🙂 I’ll try to summarize, but there’s so much to talk about.
Once she was born and I was stitched up, she was placed in my arms and I was wheeled into recovery. There we finally had skin-to-skin, and I was in bliss. My husband snapped some photos…
She was so completely perfect. I let go of her briefly to be weighed and measured: 7 lbs., 18 3/4 in. So tiny! I started getting feeling back in my toes and wiggling them. They put wraps around my calves that inflated at intervals to prevent blood clots. I still had my catheter in from when I got my epidural. I had IV fluids and pain meds. I was hooked up to a million things and I didn’t care one bit. We were parents.
My aunt and uncle briefly visited us in recovery. They couldn’t believe how adorable she was, and said I looked amazing. They left, and we were taken to my new room for the next few days. Then Inara was taken for her exam and shots and such. It was around midnight at this point. Hubby and I passed out for a bit and awoke around 3 am, wondering where our daughter was. Thankfully she was brought back soon after. She slept pretty well that night, exhausted from her ordeal.
The next few days are a little fuzzy at this point. We attempted breastfeeding. It didn’t go well. She wouldn’t latch and would just cry or fall asleep. They got me pumping and syringe-feeding her my colostrum, but I wasn’t producing much. She was always still acting hungry and it would take forever to calm her back down to sleep. I attempted solid food for breakfast and threw it up. The pain kicked in big time. Then that night, NO ONE slept. My baby was starving and I couldn’t feed her. I cried so much.
Over the next couple days, I pumped more and more, and a lactation consultant hooked me up with a nipple shield and Inara FINALLY latched. She still fought it because she was impatient for the milk to start flowing, but eventually it worked. I got my catheter taken out, my IV removed, I took a shower. Life started feeling a little more normal. We had gone in Thursday night, and got to leave on Tuesday. I was so relieved. Every morning, no matter how badly we had slept, a steady parade of nurses, doctors, food, etc. started at 7 am and didn’t let up. The hospital pediatrician basically yelled at me for letting my daughter sleep instead of waking her up to feed, even when I didn’t have any milk. She tried to force formula on us. Thankfully no one else there did. The LCs were a great help.
Since then, we’ve had good days and bad. I was supposed to wake her up every 2-3 hours to feed, but if she wasn’t ready, she just WOULDN’T. It was frustrating me to tears. She had lost 11% of her birth weight in the hospital and they were really hard on me about it. Finally I gave in to Inara and let her sleep till she was hungry. Life got SO much easier. Not easy, but easier. She still fights the latch, still falls asleep while feeding, but we get enough in her eventually. I also pump and top her off with a bottle because she takes that so much more easily. I’ve been going to the lactation support group at the hospital and weighing her there, and as of Monday she was 6 lbs. 13 oz. so almost back to birth weight! She’s also been cluster-feeding lately and has likely gained more.
I’m trying to pump more often, like while she’s sleeping, to keep up my supply and have bottles ready for her. That way hubby can also feed her sometimes. I wake up with her 2-3 times a night and usually end up falling asleep with her on my chest in the recliner after. We’re very cozy and safe, don’t worry. I’ll try to do it less eventually, but I love the closeness now while she’s tiny. I didn’t even nap yesterday or today so I think I’m getting a decent amount of sleep overall. Heck, I’m sleeping longer in a row than I ever did while pregnant!
I got my C-section staples out today, which was much easier than I’d expected. A month from today I have my follow-up OB appointment. Inara had a check-up the day after we got home and she’s basically perfect. The doc was very impressed. 🙂 Now, we’re just spending our days taking care of her and gazing at her, amazed that we created something so completely perfect. ❤