now and ever more

each journey begins with one step . . . a baby step

first 2 weeks . . . January 6, 2013

Filed under: Baby — nowandevermore @ 1:03 PM
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Now that I told the birth story I thought I would share how the 1st two weeks have gone.

First off, I had the help of my Mom and stepdad.  They ran errands, grocery shopped, cooked and cleaned and took care of our dog.  I handled everything baby along with hubby.  It was such a ig help to have them here.  Moving around the first week was tough because of the c-section, so if you are in that position don’t turn down the help.

Our house is a tri-level.  We have a living area, laundry room and bathroom on the lower level (also a door to the garage), the middle level has another living area and the kitchen and then the upper level has the 3 bedrooms and a bathroom.  So I stayed on the upper level most of the time.  Once in a while I would venture downstairs, but not too much the first few days as stairs were uncomfortable.

Sleep

The first night home was tough.  We think the little guy had his days and nights messed up, which is not uncommon for newborns.  He would sleep most of the day and then be awake most of the night.  We attempted to use the crib in the baby’s room for him to sleep in.  We also have a futon in there.  So I would feed him and then put him in the crib.  Shortly after I put him down he would start to fuss/cry.  Then I would pick him up to settle him and put him down.  Then he would fuss/cry.  This went on all night.  I think I got maybe 1 hour of sleep total (this made a total of about 3 hours of sleep the last 3 days).  It was a real test of my patience and I cried most of the night myself.

The next night I had hubby put the pack-n-play together (it has a bassinet feature) and set it up in our bedroom.  That way I could be closer to the baby and also my bed.  That night was a little better, but we were all still trying to figure things out.  The next few nights he did ok.  I would wake up to nurse every 3 hours or so and get him to go back to sleep.  I am getting about 6 hours of sleep a night.  This is split up into two sessions of 3 hours each.  Sometimes less, depending on when he gets hungry.

Jaundice

On Monday (Dec. 24), our 1st full day at home I was changing him in the morning and noticed that he looked a little jaundice.  I called the pediatrician.  It was before office hours, but he called me back within 10 minutes.  He even apologized for it taking him so long to call back.  This surprised me because I didn’t think it was that long. 🙂  He said to bring Lil Pete in that morning so he could take a look.  (I do want to mention we did not have the opportunity to meet the doctor before our baby came.  He was not able to meet with us because of his busy schedule, so the 1st time I met him was in the hospital.  He came highly recommended by my OB and even the nurses in the hospital (when we took the classes, so I took a chance and am very pleased!)

We got to the office and they weighed him and he had dropped to 6 pounds, 3.5 ounces.  When he had his bath in the hospital on Saturday night he was 6 pounds, 9 ounces.  It is typical for babies to drop some weight early on.  Doctor said it was about 7% drop which is ok.  But of course I was still worried.  The doctor decided to send us for a blood test for the little guy to test his Bilirubin which is what causes the Jaundice.

This was a pain in the butt!  Most labs in the area were closed because it was Christmas Eve.  So he sent us to the hospital where I gave birth.  He told us to go to the Outpatient Center.  We did and were told that they do not treat children that we needed to go to the Children’s Hospital.  It is attached but not close.  I asked how far and she said a little bit of a walk.  There was no way I felt up to walking more, so she said she could get a wheelchair for me.  So a guy came and wheeled me to the Children’s Hospital, while Peter carried Lil Pete behind us.

Oh and did I forget to tell you that I left my purse at home?  The pediatrician’s office had no issue with this.  I was grateful.  So when we got to the desk at the Children’s Hospital I handed over the order and they said not having my ID and insurance card were no problem.  They told us to go down the hall and through a door to the lab.  Once in there to knock on the door and we would be helped.  So we did and I handed the order over to them and the lab technician said this order is for the lab down the street.  What???  Apparently the Doc’s office had written the order for a lab that is attached to the hospital and we were not told about this.  I was starting to lose it.  Between the lack of sleep, the pain and worrying about the baby, I just didn’t want to deal with this.

Then an angel came to our rescue.  She saw that I was starting to get upset and asked what was wrong.  We explained to her that he needed a blood test and that I didn’t have my info but that I JUST was at the hospital the day before.  She had someone call the doctor’s office to get another request sent over.  Then she was also able to pull up my info from my delivery records and get Lil Pete set up into their system at the Children’s Hospital.  Then all was ok and Lil Pete could get his blood drawn.  I was so grateful for her.

He was a trooper and didn’t fuss too much.  Then we were on our way.  They gave us some paperwork so that if we needed to go back for a follow-up test all we had to do was knock on the lab door and hand them the paperwork.

The bilirubin came back at 14.  Doc said it wasn’t too bad and did not require any sort of photo therapy.  He did want me to supplement the breast milk with a 1/2 ounce of formula at each feeding.  The bilirubin passes out of the system in the pee and poop, so the more he eats the faster the jaundice will clear up.  My milk had not yet come in also, so this will help put some weight back on him.  He also wanted us to go for a follow-up blood test on the 26th.

We went for another blood test on the 26th and this time we went right to Children’s Hospital and knocked on the door and went right in.  Such a difference from last time.  We were in and out in 10 minutes.  Billiruben came back at 18, which was still not too bad.  Doc wanted us to come to the office on Friday for a follow-up and increase the formula to 1 ounce.  My milk had come in on the left side, but the right was a slow responder.

At Friday’s appointment, our little guy was 6 pounds, 6.5 ounces.  So he had gained 3 ounces! YAY!!!  The doc wanted us to go for one more blood test.  This time the bilirubin was 17.  So it was getting better.  We were to continue with what we were doing. and see them in a week.

Lil Pete’s color had gotten so much better and he was peeing about 10 times a day and pooping 5-6 times.  So we knew his system was getting cleaned out and we were happy.  At the appointment Friday, he weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.  He was improving and the doctor was pleased.  He still wants to supplement with the formula and gave us a different one so that he gets a bit more calories.  They gave me a sample can and when I got home I noticed it was expired.  I called the office and the nurse apologized and said all the other cans they have are in date that she will set a few aside for me to get later. It happens and when I picked them up later there were 3 cans!  WOO HOO!  That would have cost us about $45 if I were to buy them in the store!

Our next appointment is January 25.  He will get his 2nd of 3 Hepatitis B Vaccine shots and I am hoping he will have gained even more and maybe by that time I can stop with the formula and exclusively breastfeed.  The right one is still a little slow, so I am trying to pump and give it to him often to get it flowing better.

My Recovery

On my last day in the hospital I was able to shower.  They had taken the bandage off of the incision and I could not wait to be clean and in my own clothes.  I had my mom bring me some things that I was going to pack but never got to do it.  After the shower I noticed a rash on my entire belly.  It did not itch, but I wasn’t sure what it was from and the nurse didn’t seem too concerned.

When I got home, it got worse.  It really started to itch.  It was red also.  There was also a small patch on my lower back.  I determined that it was probably from the antiseptic they used to clean me before the surgery and before the spinal.  I have had surgery before but never had a reaction, so I wasn’t sure why this time was different.  I called the nurse at my OB’s office on Thursday (waited a bit longer than I should have) and she said to get Benadryl cream.  That did the trick.  Took a few more days but it cleared it up.

On Friday (Dec 28th), I went to the OB’s office for my post-op visit.  In the hospital they gave me a packet to take with me to my 1st post-op appointment.  It had a little tweezers type tool and some surgi-tape.  The appointment was quick.  Doc used the tool to take out my staples and then used the tape to cover the incision.  Taking out the staples did not hurt at all.  I was worried it would but no.  And everyone was fawning all over how cute the baby was.  🙂  The ultrasound tech saw me and she heard me tell the receptionist I was here to get my staples removed and she was surprised that I had the baby already.  It was a good visit and I get to go back for another post-op appointment on the 18th.

The first couple of days after the staples were removed, it hurt a little more.  I guess the staples gave it more stability than the tape did.  It wasn’t too bad, but definitely felt it.  And my darn husband always tries to get me to laugh and every time I would laugh before and after the staple removal I would get a couple laughs out and then it would be “ow, ow, ow.  Stop making me laugh!”

Another issue I had was swelling.  I really thought that after I had this baby the swelling I was experiencing in my legs would go down pretty quickly.  That was NOT the case.  In the hospital it was pretty bad and my left leg was worse.  Upon leaving, the doctor even told me don’t be surprised if the legs get even more swelled when I get home.  It is normal and could take a couple of weeks.

So I tried my best to keep my feet elevated, but it took pretty much the full 2 weeks to see a big difference.  I think there is still slight swelling in my left but overall they are mostly back to normal.

Throughout the pregnancy I never talked about my weight gain.  I put on 32 pounds from when I found out I was pregnant.  I was ok with that.  I did not want it to be anymore.  I was a little over weight to begin with, but as long as I kept it at or under 35 I was ok.  Well, I am pleased to say that I am down 22 pounds already!  With the baby, placenta and all the water weight I had retained, it seemed to come off pretty quickly.  The first few days it was only about 10 pounds, but once I started getting rid of the water retention it seemed to drop off.  And I know breastfeeding helps too.

Speaking of breastfeeding . . . it is going well, but my right breast seems a little slow in the milk production.  I need to try to get it to catch up with the left one.  I pump it once in a while but only get maybe a half an ounce.  Sometimes the baby latches and sucks for 10-15 minutes but I don’t think he really gets anything.  It doesn’t feel like anything is blocked, so I will keep trying and ask my doctor what more I can do.

Overall, things are going well.  My emotions get the better of me some days.  I just look at our little guy and cannot believe he is here.  I just love him so much and cannot imagine my life without him.  It was such a tough journey to get here and as much as I hated that we had to go through all the tests, surgeries, shots, blood draws, etc., it was all worth it and I would do it all over again.

For all of my readers that are still in the middle of their own personal struggle to become pregnant, I want nothing more than for all of you to be able to experience this joy.  I pray for you everyday and you are never far from my thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

 

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