Postpartum, such a wonderfully weird time or recovering from giving birth and navigating caring for a newborn. This is a time not often talked about, I’m sure mostly because mamas are just too tired. And I feel that, I’ve barely had the time or the mental capacity to finish up this post.
While it’s not much, I’m able to find small (tiny) amounts of time to journal and reflect, so I hope to share a bit of this crazy world with you. It helps me to stay in the moment and keeps me grounded. I hope to keep it up, along with this blog, if I can. Forgive me for the run-on sentences and two-week behind posts, which I know you’re already used to anyway.
I started this one the first week and added some photos today along with more text. Some of it may be in present tense, and some past. 🙂
10 December 2017
We hit the one week mark today. In some ways it went by very quickly, I didn’t realize it had been a week. It’s now dark and I forgot to grab a photo of miss Margot on her 1 week birthday. I keep forgetting to grab the camera. These days feel so long, but I know how quickly they pass. It’s a mix of longing for more sleep and wanting to soak in all the newborn snuggles at the same time.
We stayed the two nights in the hospital, soaking up all the help we could get. Jordan and I played the Harry Potter board game, we had Ruby over as often as possible, and enjoyed some cozy family time. It felt a little like a getaway, which sounds crazy until you’re living life with a 2.5-year-old. We had Ruby over as often as possible, but it was so good to spend some quality time with our newest little girl. Jordan and I hadn’t had that much time together in so long and it was savored for sure.
She didn’t have a name until Tuesday afternoon. It was very strange not calling her anything for the first few days. I’m not completely sure why it took so long, it just took a while to get to know her. The hospital wanted us to decide before we left, so on our last day, we knew we had to make a decision. I wrote it down on a piece of paper to make sure it looked right, and it fits so well.
Margot June Louise
I thought I would feel more connected to this little one this time around since being two years in this whole motherhood thing. Life has been so busy, that it’s taken this slow time to really even come around to the idea that there’s another little one here. She’s already teaching me so much, mostly to slow down, to soak in the moment, and to appreciate the simple things.
It felt like we were in the hospital for so long. We were hoping to leave in the morning, but it was very busy and discharging and getting her name squared away took a bit of time. And of course, as soon as we were about to get her dressed her umbilical cord started bleeding and fell off. Jordan fixed her up and we snuggled her before getting her dressed and in the carseat.
And it was time to go home! On the way home Jordan and I had a late lunch while Margot was sleeping. We sat in the car and tried to comprehend the fact that we were bringing anothe baby home.
Ruby had just woken up from her nap when we arrived home. She made a sweet sign for her little sister. It was so surreal coming home. It definitely felt like the beginning of something new.
Ruby was more excited than I imagined she’d be having Margot home. She acted like a big sister and wanted to help and hold her. Maybe smothering her with a little too much love.
We had family visiting the first evening we were home, which is why I actually have photos. My parents were staying with Ruby while we were in the hospital and my brothers and sil also came while we were in the hospital and stayed the first evening we were home. They took Ruby out for the day so that we could get some rest and they could get some quality time with Ruby. She loved the company and attention, so i think it helped to ease her into sharing some of the spotlight with he new little sister.
And all of the Christmas decor makes this newborn time extra cozy.
Between our time in the hospital and some planned ahead vacation, Jordan had the entire week off, which was so sweet. I’m so grateful for the timing of this so that we could have some days to hunker down as a family before he resumed work.
There have been some moments when everything feels so right. Like this afternoon when Ruby spent hours coloring while Margot napped.
I hope to continue answering some questions, similar to my pregnancy posts. If just to remember, or also to help someone else feel like they’re not alone. I’m not going to share too, too much, but I hope to fine the line of being open and not too much of an overshare. So, this may be the part you want to skip over if you don’t care for hearing about the first week of a woman’s life after giving birth.
how i’m feeling
Overall, I started out feeling a little too good. Besides my tailbone feeling like it was broken from all of the back labor and the way Margot came out, face up, I felt great. I didn’t have much pain, I didn’t tear (just lots and lots of swelling) and the cramping was pretty tolerable. I had a lot of energy. I didn’t get a full nights sleep starting out, but it was much better than with Ruby. I got a little sleep so I didn’t feel like I was starting out already behind.
I still did a lot that week, I kept up with the house, I wrapped gifts during Ruby’s naptime. We spent a day at the hospital for Margot’s follow up. I did a poor job of resting and recovering.
Towards the end of the week as my energy started wearing thin I started wishing I had snagged some more naps. I also started hurting more towards the end of the week. Even more so than I did in the hospital, so I vowed then to slow down and stop doing as much.
For the first few days Margot woke up every hour or so to eat at night. There were several times where I fell asleep while feeding her I was so tired. While we were still at the hospital the nurses would take her for a bit to do their testings and hold on to her until her next feeding. I didn’t think I’d want her to go the nursery, but I was so tired that the extra sleep was so needed. She seemed to sleep better during the day so I’d be able to take a good nap in the afternoon.
When we got home we’d all go to sleep at the same time, once we got Ruby down we would all crash. Once we figured out nursing and my milk came in, she started sleeping longer stretched. Last night she slept 5 hours!! which, i’m pretty sure they don’t necessarily like them doing that, but i think i needed it. i woke up feeling a little too rested, and was shocked when i realized how much time has passed.
Overall she seems to just fall asleep after eating every time.
how’s margot doing? how’d her follow-up go?
Margot was born very healthy which we are very thankful for. She lost a bit of weight in the hospital, so we had to go back two days later for a follow-up. There they weighed her and she lost more than 10 percent. We already had struggled getting to the appointment. I went straight up to the office, where they told us to go, and then rudely told I needed to check in downstairs and then sent through a maze of I-don’t-knows with a now hungry baby. An hour later we ended up at the same location and with the same not-very-kind nurse (the rest of the staff we loved and adored, but this lady was not kind) and no apology or tries at understanding. My hormones which hadn’t seemed to surface yet. I was already on edge and then on top of that I now had to deal with the same struggles that we had with Ruby. I had to press the issue to see a lactation consultant and wait. I’m thankful that I did because she was very helpful. She asked questions, observed, and gave helpful and specific information instead of the normal info they seem to spout off.
We didn’t see the pediatrician, rather she communicated with him and in the end they decided to supplement with pumped breastmilk and to schedule another followup for a couple days. I got home and pumped and realized that my milk had come in and also that I just didn’t want to pump. I did that with Ruby for so long.
I broke down that evening feeling defeated. I didn’t want to let this get to me, but it’s not very encouraging for a postpartum, hormonal, mama to hear that she’s not properly caring and feeding her child. I don’t think there’s any way to spin it in a way that won’t leave a mama feeling down. I wish they didn’t make such a big deal about it, or at least wait and give it time, especially for breastfed babes. There’s just so many things going on in those first few days.
I’m thankful for our experience the first time around with Ruby and having a physician for a husband. Jordan seemed to know that I was feeling pressured and told me that we’d cancel our follow up. He offered that we could take her in to the clinic and weigh her ourselves in a few days.
This eased my anxiety and I decided to spend our energy on quality feedings. She finally started having more wet diapers and eventually started adding some dirty ones into the mix as well, a very good sign!
On Sunday, we went in with our week-old-baby and weighed her. She was gaining weight and eating well!
weight & self-image
I didn’t think to even weigh myself until I was home for a couple days. It felt pretty good to step on the scale and weigh about 20 pounds less. Well, until I realized that it means I still have about 15 pounds to lose. I’m choosing not to think about losing the weight until after the holiday.
Self-image is a big improvement this time around. I focused more on gathering a few key pieces for postpartum and that has been so helpful. I had an idea of what I’d fit into and what would look good for this time. Loose clothing, lots of cardigans and high waisted leggings have been staples. It helps tremendously that it’s winter and I can layer clothing.
favorite postpartum clothing
I am LOVING these postpartum leggings from Blanqi, I wear them every day with either this Target sweater or this one. The leggings are pretty pricy, so keep in mind that I snagged them for half off over black friday. I’m not sure I’d pay full price for them, but I’d recommend looking into a nice pair of high-waisted leggings. I feel put together in this outfit which helps me function better.
And I can’t forget about my new slippers, Jordan encouraged me to choose the nicer slippers, and it’s made a world of difference. They are soooo cozy.
favorite baby item
This week my favorite item this week has been the ollie swaddle. We tried swaddles with Ruby and loved the traditional swaddle blanket and didn’t mind swaddling her. Margot is a feisty one, so this swaddle has been a game changer, she can’t break out of it and it’s so easy. Full disclosure, I was sent this to try out, and it is pretty pricy. I almost bought another one, but decided not to because it was pricy and we can get by with one. We do legitimately use it every night and knowing how much we love it, I think I’d get it myself.
how’s breastfeeding going?
We had an excellent start, a rocky middle, and ended on an ok note this week. Initially Margot latched on right away with no troubles and was awake and ate as often as she could that first day. Even the nursed were calling her a little piggie. The following day she got more sleepy and wasn’t interested in eating. I spent the evening trying to nurse her and then she started to want to eat every hour only to fall asleep while eating. Also, since she was so sleepy she was a little more lazy with her latch.
We had some difficulties in the middle of the week with feedings and her not gaining the appropriate amount of weight. I talked about that earlier, but in towards the end of the week I worked hard on getting a good latch. We both seemed to learn more. I found a few good resources which I’ll try to share as well. I stopped experiencing pain, just some soreness and pinching, so i took that and her weight gain as a good sign. It seems to be improving, and I think most of our troubles were mostly due to her sleepiness and the fact that she’s still a newborn.
how’s ruby handling being a big sister?
She either does really well, or very poorly, there doesn’t seem to be an in-between. All I can say is good things for these sweet girls. All of the troubles are to be expected with this big transition and I’m so proud of our girl for braving this so well. At night when I put her to sleep I am constantly telling her how well she’s doing. It’s not easy, she still wants to be held, she still needs me, she doesn’t always obey, and there have been several times where both girls are crying. I know how crazy hard this transition is for me, so I can’t even comprehend how a toddler can rationalize this crazy change. So, all the grace over here and strong efforts to keep up structure and normal life as much as possible.
We’re figuring out this whole family of four thing, and it’s really quite cozy. I am so grateful that I get to live this life with these people.
Last photos taken by Amy Rau