So somehow, a week has come and gone since we welcomed the most amazing little boy into our lives. Sawyer's birth story will be up later next week (I just don't have the time or the energy right now to type it all out! These newborn babies sure know how to steal up your time ;) ) I just wanted to pop in and give you all the details of our first week as a family of 3. And share tons of precious baby photos to boot :)
I seriously can't even believe how many pictures we've taken of him in our first week. I had to upgrade my Dropbox subscription just to keep up! 99% of them are grainy iPhone photos, but seriously, who can resist snapping a photo of a milk-drunk newborn after a middle of the night feeding? No one. That is who!
WARNING: I'm about to get into the real gory details of what has happened in our first week post partum. If vaginas and breast feeding and all that freak you out, I would suggest just scrolling through these adorable pictures, and not reading any text below this line. I desperately searched high and low to read about the first week home on other blogs, so I thought I might help a fellow pregnant sister out by sharing ours.
Some beginning thoughts:
I haven't used a single pad-sicle that I made before he arrived
Disposable underwear are your friend. Don't knock 'em till you try 'em!
I have gone through an entire bag of Forrest Berry trail mix from Sam's club in 5 days
This was the fastest week of my entire life.
Day 1: Sawyer's Birthday
Also known as the best day of my entire life.
Baby: 8 pounds 10 ounces of sweet baby chub! He was born without any complications and was a professional nurser from the get-go. We didn't get all that much sleep the first night, nurses in and out as well as just being high on baby fumes, but it didn't seem to phase this little man.
Mama: High on baby! I pushed out an almost 9 pounder and was bleeding like something out of a horror film, yet somehow I felt absolutely no pain. Part of this was the mild sedative I was put on at the end of labor (more on that next week) the other was just pure baby hormone goodness. I was beyond exhausted after a 4 AM induction and no sleep the entire day, yet somehow, it was easy to keep pushing through every time I got a glimpse of those squishy little cheeks.
Day 2: We're headed home!
Who decided it was a good idea for us to take a baby home? Can we do this? Will he like his new home? Answer, Yes.Yes. and Yes.
Baby: Sawyer kicked so much newborn tail at his first night home. We woke up about every 2 hours to nurse/rock/love on him, and we both looked at each other and said "this is easy! why does everyone say the first night is so hard?!" Don't worry, he paid us back for that one.
Mama: High baby fumes are definitely gone. I feel like i've been hit by a truck. I can hardly walk to the restroom, which by the way, is a terrifying thing to do after you've pushed a very large human out of a very small place. My nipples are just starting to feel uncomfortable, but we had to start out nursing with a shield so its not all that bad. It hurts to sit, so I spend most of the day laying down. Grandma/Grandpa/Auntie and Uncle come over to love on the baby, and Axl meets his brother for the first time.
Day 3: Shit hits the fan
By far the hardest day of the entire week. Lots and LOTS of tears shed.
Baby: Has his first pediatrician appointment! Don't worry though, it was after a night he literally slept maybe 2 hours total. He overheard us talking about what a rockstar he was the night before and decided to show us who was really the new boss in town. Mom and Dad are running on fumes! A 2:00 PM doctors appointment is late afternoon for any normal person, for new parents? It might as well of been 6 AM. We find out at the appointment that he has lost an entire pound since his birthday, which is on the high side. My milk hasn't come in yet, so doctor isn't too concerned, but after how much we had been nursing, it felt like a major fail to me. He also has high levels of jaundice, and we had to be readmitted to the hospital for some testing. This leads to some major breakdowns for mom. Our win for the day was when I was going to start trying to wean him from the nipple shield, but to my surprise he is practically a baby genius and just spit it out to get the good stuff right from the source. He doesn't need no stinkin' nipple shield!
Mama: Loses her mind in the pediatricians office. After she tells us the news about his weight and jaundice, I can't help it and I start uncontrollably sobbing in the room. She puts her arms around me and tells me that we're doing great and it will be okay, just furthering the uncontrollable bawling. #hormones. Seriously though, I can't imagine how your heart breaks seeing your child in real danger or fighting a real disease. I just can't. We head to the hospital to have his second jaundice test and it is absolutely terrible. He screams uncontrollably as a not-so-experiened lab tech literally milks his foot for blood for over 5 minutes. I'm crying, he is crying, it is chaos. Finally it's over, I nurse him in the lobby to calm him down, and we head home. Our pediatrician calls us to let us know that his levels are at a 15, which is high, and she'd like to suggest that we put him on a biliblanket starting as soon as possible, to help bring the levels down. She will have it delivered to us first thing Saturday morning. My belly is starting to look somewhere in the realm of 5 months pregnant? It's definitely smaller, but still nice and plump. Kaedyn asks, "sissy, are you having another baby?!" more tears commence. The good news is, this is also the day my body decided it was time for its first poop since birth. Which is as terrifying as you would expect. In the end, all came out alright...if you get what i'm saying. (I warned you things were going to get TMI around here)
Day 4: Happy Halloween!
A great nights rest makes everything better!
Baby: Sawyer did great this night. He woke every 2 hours to nurse, but getting into the routine is pretty easy. Jake gets him out of his bassinet, changes his diaper and brings him to me. We work on our latch for a few minutes until he finally gets it. It's real painful, not going to lie, but he doesn't care :) We go on our first family outing to Target, and little guy sleeps the entire time. He is the cutest little bear you ever did see! Friends and family come over for our annual Halloween happy hour, and we take the kids trick-or-treating. Sawyer finds this buckets of fun and snoozes the night away in his stroller. He is sleeping around 20 hours a day, no joke! This kid can knock back some zzz's like nobody's business! The biliblanket isn't ideal because I just want to cuddle my baby, but it's a small device that wraps around his little body emitting a blue phototherapy light that is supposed to help break down the biliruben. He has to be naked except a diaper, which I hate, and so we wrap him in a swaddle, he doesn't mind one bit!
Mama: Feeling okay, but I definitely overdid it this day. We walked Target, and then walked the neighborhood for trick-or-treating, and the bleeding that had started to slow came back pretty dark red and heavy again. Remember when I said disposable underwear and diaper pads were your friend? Well they are! Take what the hospital gives you, you'll be glad you did. My belly is starting to look more like 3 months pregnant, but my milk is really starting to come in, and holy hell is it painful. My nipples are a cracked, bloody, insanely painful mess. Sawyer got a Sophie the Giraffe teether at our baby shower, and i've claimed her as my own, I have to bite down on her every time he latches. I could literally scream in pain. I am starting to wonder how we will survive nursing, no joke. Jake is an awesome support and we get through the night. I'm SPENT after all that walking, its insane how sore everything is after childbirth, but then again, there is that large human small hole thing. I'm feeling good about our exercise but ready for sleep!
Day 5: Shit gets real again
Nursing is the hardest thing i've EVER done.
Baby: Is a hungry hungry hippo! I swear this kid wants to eat every 30 minutes to an hour, and it is exhausting! We're on demand feeding, hoping to get his weight up before our next peds appointment, as well as knock out his jaundice. Nothing really new to report on Sawyer front this day. He sleeps a whole lot, and spends at least 20 hours of this day in his 4moms or bassinet snoozing with his biliblanket on.
Mama: Major.breakdown. My boobs are so engorged I can't even breath without wanting to cry. When you get that engorged, it makes it impossible for baby to latch, so I have to give in to pumping just a little to soften things up for him. This is not what I wanted to do at all and I end up crying my eyes out because of the pain of the pump, as well as the pain of engorgement, and that I DO NOT want to feed my baby out of a bottle yet. I call my le leche league leader crying my eyes out asking what I should do, and she recommends reverse pressure softening mixed with pumping just a bit to pull out my nipple. This works like a charm! It is painful as hell, and it takes me a solid 10 minutes to prep for a nursing session, but we're getting through. Baby boy gets the food he needs, and I get a small amount of relief from the horrible pressure of way-too-full boobs. Engorgement is only supposed to last 24-48 hours, and i'm praying it ends as soon as possible! My belly is down even more, maybe a large chipotle burrito at this point? Other than the nursing pain, my hoo-ha is healing wonderfully, and I even decide I don't need stool softeners anymore because everything seems to be working just fine in that department.
Day 6: A really, really great day!
Our hungry hungry boy really IS a hippo!
Baby: We have our follow up pediatrician appointment today! He slept like a champ in between feedings so mom and dad are feeling pretty good. This little moo-moo put on TWELVE ounces in 3 days! Once mom's milk comes in, doctors are looking for them to put on about an ounce a day. So in the three days since our appointment they're looking for him to put on 3-5 ounces at most, he puts on TWELVE! I told you this baby was a hungry hippo. I'm so relieved for the weight gain, all the painful nursing is paying off! Plus, I just love my baby a little on the chunky side ;) He also has to have a follow up jaundice test, and to our joy, the tech is much more experienced this time, and baby boy barely even cries getting his heal pricked again. Such a relief for mama! His numbers have gone down to 12.5, which is a little but not a whole lot. Our pediatrician wants us to spend lots of time in the sun and have one more day of blue light therapy, and then he can be done!
Mama: My lady parts are still healing just fine, so that is a plus. Jake yells at me because I haven't used a single padsicle. I need to use at least one before everything is working as it should down there! Our hospital provided us with an insane amount of lady-healing products so I haven't needed my own supply yet. Jake said he is sick of opening the freezer to see bags full of feminine hygiene products ;) My boobs are still outrageously engorged. Today marks 48 hours with boobs that are hard as rocks and at least 3 cup sizes larger than normal. Its painful as all get out! I'm hoping it starts to soften up soon! Little guy is still loving them, though, nursing every 2 hours, and making me cringe with the first few seconds. My nipples are wrecked, ya'll. My belly looks almost like a normal belly, but after Thanksgiving dinner, so i'm happy to report things are finding their way back into place. The human body is seriously amazing. My stretch marks I acquired over my 40 pregnant weeks are not even close to fading, so even though i'm getting back to normal, there is nothing normal about my belly when my shirt is off. I thought this would really bother me, but honestly, i'm so amazed that my body made this little being that I don't care. Plus, I locked my husband down, and he loves me anyway. :)
Day Seven: No more blue light special!
As of 3:35 PM today, our little angel baby is one week old. I've already cried twice and it's 9:15 AM.
Baby: Up every 2 hours to nurse, as per usual. I feel like we're really getting the hang of it, though. He latches right on almost every time. He poops after every single feeding, and i'm so grateful for Jake who gets up to change every last one. In Sawyer's first week of life, i've literally changed ONE diaper on my own. Such an awesome husband, he really has been the best baby raising partner this week. We're so excited to get baby off of his biliblanket and try to grab his attention with some things while he is awake. He still sleeps about 20 hours a day, but I love his inquisitive little face when he is alert. He really looks like he is just soaking it all in, and I can almost see his brain growing!
UPDATE: Sawyer's umbilical cord has just fallen off. Next stop, college. (crying as we speak.)
Mama: Boobs still awfully engorged. Feeling pretty good overall, though. Last night the every 2 hours really got to me and I thought I would fall asleep standing up. I'm emotional that my little guy is officially a week old. It has been the best, and quickest week of my entire life. Hormones have hit me HARD. I just started sobbing while looking at him last night. I couldn't believe he was so cute, so perfect, and ours. I couldn't stop thinking that in 11 weeks I had to go back to work and leaving him was going to be the worst thing ever, and that I might never stop crying again. Then the tears made me extra sleepy and I passed the frick out. And here we are now. :)
Pick up your favorite snack in bulk if you're going to be nursing. It makes you insanely hungry and having that to munch on in the middle of the night makes the sleep deprivation a little more bearable.
Milk will get in your baby's neck rolls, make sure you clean it out after each feeding, or else they start to smell a little funky, and you've got a stinky spoiled milk baby on your hands.
Make sure your local cardiac surgeon is on-call, because your heart might stop working from the amount of love pumping through it this week. You will be so insanely, over-the-moon, uncontrollably in love with this tiny little person, that sometimes it makes you feel like you will go into cardiac arrest and just die, because how is it even possible to love someone so much.
This week has been hard. The hardest week of my life. Hell-week in the world of parenting. But boy, has it been good. Like, so, SO much better than I could have ever even imagined. Loving this baby and providing for him the best we can is such an honor, and I probably thank God 150 times a day for giving us this precious responsibility.
That's everything about our first week, folks. It became a lot wordier than I expected, but I know i'll look back on it glad I wrote it all out, hoping to never forget. Thanks for reading, and for sharing this journey to parenthood with us. :)
Until Next Time,