A baby update FINALLY and it’s a bit of a long one. Seriously, bear with me, we have lot to catch you up on! I’ll try to intersperse some pictures of our little lady to keep things interesting.
These first 2-3 weeks have been quite the rollercoaster. Everyone tells you before you have your baby that “get your rest now, you’ll need it” or “the first few weeks will be a blur.” All true, yes, all true, but no one mentions that the first couple weeks will be the most challenging weeks of your life. And yes, it’s all worth it.
The birth story is a long one, as in many hours in the hospital. Breaking it down in the shortest form possible, it looked a little something like this:
- Thursday Night – admitted, received Cervidil (cervix softener).
- Friday Morning – no progress in dilation, then put on Pitocin (to medically induce contractions) to hopefully cause some progress. This truly wasn’t awful at first. I was walking, playing card games, watching TV. It wasn’t bad until they turned that stuff up in the afternoon.
- Friday Afternoon – HARD contractions. I can’t even explain, but I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t lay down, I couldn’t talk. I gripped Adam’s hand as hard as I could and just tried to breath. I was not relaxing like I should and as of 1pm, I wasn’t dilating. I knew I had to get an epidural, because either a) I was going to do this vaginally and wouldn’t progress if I didn’t relax or b) I would need a c-section and would get an epidural regardless.
- Friday Night – ahhhhhhh. Guys, I respect those women who do natural births but next baby, I’m going to make sure that epidural is ready for me when I walk in the door. Receiving it while contracting was just about the worst ever but after it was in, they checked me, 3 cm WOO! and they broke my water for me. This got things rolling.
- EARLY Saturday morning (like 2am) – 6-7cm, 90% effaced.
- Saturday morning (6am) – 9cm, fully effaced, but guess what, still not there yet. To avoid too much information, my cervix had one spot that wasn’t dilating and her head was stuck behind it. 10 minutes on my right side, I felt her pop past that last cm. That was more painful than childbirth if I’m being honest.
- 9:30am, Saturday – I buzz the nurse because this is happening now. I can’t wait anymore. But guess what, the doctor wasn’t at the hospital yet so I started “practice pushing”. Within 10 minutes, the nurse said “breath through your contractions and stop pushing” – WHAT! This was not cool. Because the doctor wasn’t there yet and I was an “all star pusher” I had to hold her in, essentially, until the doctor showed up.
- 10:05 am, Saturday – Doctor walks in (finally) and apologizes, gets his gloves and little scrubs on and within 10 minutes of him walking in, little Addison was born at 10:15 yay!
All in all, it was a 38 hour process but the worst parts of it all were Friday afternoon on Pitocin pre-epidural and waiting for that dang doctor to show up. I also am an advocate of epidurals. No joke guys. I had a “partial epidural” which the doctor said was the perfect amount because I could move my legs and feel what was happening without an abundance of pain. Being trapped in a hospital from Thursday night until Monday midday was another contributing factor of annoyance and anxiety because, of course, we had our first warm snap, the trees were budding and I couldn’t experience or see any of it.
Labor talk over. Promise. 🙂
We were in the hospital from Saturday morning until Monday mid-day. It wasn’t so bad, recovery is a whole other post but I will say that I didn’t walk away (haha, yeah right, walking) unscathed but I guess it could have been worse? The first day is sort of insane when you get into your recovery room, they hand you your baby and say “buzz us if you need us!” NEED YOU? Of course I need you! I can’t take care of myself right now, how to you expect me to take care of this child? How soon should I feed her? Where the heck do I go with her when I want to sleep? That was meltdown number one of like twenty that first week. Poor Adam.
Monday-Thursday were a bit of a blur. My mom made us dinner our first night home, which was awesome. I think the biggest blessing has been having my mom so close during this time. She was such a huge help between making meals, cleaning my kitchen, keeping me company in the wee hours of the morning, or just giving moral support. I love her so much and don’t know what I would have done without her!
Monday night, our first night home, Adam and I tried to “do it alone” without any help. Big mistake. First of all, my milk wasn’t in yet so I’m pretty sure Addison was RAVENOUS and second of all, we didn’t know anything. Adam thought we should “let her cry it out” but I was pretty sure we shouldn’t do that with a newborn but I thought we should just hold her and she’d stop crying. NOTHING worked, I’m pretty sure we both got about 30 minutes of sleep each. Then, that next morning my brother & his wife came with breakfast, and I can’t even remember what we talked about! We had a few meals from friends and family coming every night and by Thursday, Adam’s parents arrived from Wisconsin for the weekend. So nice to see everyone but goodness, it was overwhelming having so many people around while trying to figure it all out! It’s a juggling process and we definitely are still learning. This is Adam’s parents first grandbaby so we were so happy they were able to come so quickly to see her!
That first week was hard though. She didn’t poop for 3 1/2 days. NOT normal guys. Then at her appointment with the doctor, he suggested I see a lactation consultant (LC) because her weight drop was “normal” but still a lot. Mom and I went 4 days later to see the LC and Addison’s weight dropped even more. YIKES! The LC suggested I start feeding her every 2 hours (not every 3-3 1/2) and if she was still fussy after a feeding, to give her some formula. Ugh, not something I wanted to hear.
2 1/2 days later we went back and she was up 3oz! But not quite up to birth weight so we had to go back this past Monday. We went back and bad news, she dropped one oz. This was the most perplexing thing! She was pooping/peeing normally, she is content, and I kid you not, this baby already has her nights figured out. I have to wake her for EVERY feeding and after, she falls right back asleep. Granted, each feeding session takes about 45 minutes but other than that, we’re getting some good sleep!
What an emotional rollercoaster. Breastfeeding has been, by far, the most challenging aspect of it all. I would take the pain, the sleepless nights, the screaming baby if I just KNEW without a doubt that she was getting enough from me. So as of Monday afternoon, she recommended that for now, after every feeding session (every.2.hours guys) I give her formula. I think that was the most heartbreaking thing to swallow. You hear all these advocates for breastfeeding and the health benefits and here I was, not even able to provide fully for our child. I know logically this is not something I can prevent but it’s so hard not to blame yourself when you are the ONLY one in charge of feeding your baby.
Yesterday was our first full day of breastfeeding plus formula. She slept almost all day after she ate, would fall asleep when nursing, and again, slept through the night (unless I woke her to feed) and even then, keeping her awake while nursing is nearly impossible. Priority number 1 before anything else is to get some weight on her. We go back to the LC tomorrow afternoon to get her weighed. She was 7lbs flat on Monday, so we would be very happy with 7lbs 4oz so that we at least have progress.
Other than that, we’re just doing our thing! Lots of walks with the dog, we are just now starting some tummy time and I think today I’m going to institute “reading time” before one of her naps. I may be jumping the gun here, but it can’t hurt, right?
OH she lost her umbilical cord last night, too! WOO!
Moving forward I’ll do my best to post a weekly update of Addison and if nothing else, just put up some pictures. It’s funny, you look at your social media trends and 2 years ago it was pictures of Adam and me going on dates. Last year, it was the progression of bump pictures and the nursery, and now it’s all Addison all the time. This is our life!
The next 4 pictures just crack me up. Her facial expressions kill me and definitely looks like Mr. Bean in one of them. She is going to LOVE me later in life when she sees these!
Being a baby is so hard 😉